Wednesday, November 30, 2005

ACS president wants IT pros like plumbers

I found this article on Australian Reseller News and it piqued my interest.

From the article:
Unlike builders, plumbers, electricians and other trades people, IT professionals can practice freely without any regulation or accreditation, a situation that, according to Australian Computer Society president-elect Philip Argy, is in need of change.

"Most people appreciate that if you're going to get building work done, you will choose a licensed builder," Argy said, adding that trades people like electricians and plumbers have a base level of certification behind them, but IT professionals do not.

Argy said that what's important is not the licensing per se, but the process that gives people a comfort level.

The ACS has long championed the idea of a 'licence', or similar certification program for IT professionals so that employers have a standard to refer to when recruiting.

I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Even though plumbers, builders, used car dealers are all licenced operators, you still get dodgy ones. And even when people do get some sort of professional certification like an MCSE, they aren't much better than someone who hasn't paid Microsoft a bundle of cash. But on the positive side it will help the customer decide who they employ or which company they outsource their work to.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm doing my bit...

Would it be possible to reduce the impact of the greenhouse effect by painting roofs of buildings white to reflect sunlight in the same way the polar icecaps do? Does a paint exist that would mimic the reflective properties of snow?

Painting roofs white would reflect more sunlight and it might also compensate for global warming. The Global Rural Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP), undertaken by the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, shows that roughly 3 per cent of the Earth's land surface is covered with buildings.

The Earth has an albedo of 0.29, meaning that it reflects 29 per cent of the sunlight that falls upon it. With an albedo of 0.1, towns absorb more sunlight than the global average. Painting all roofs white could nudge the Earth's albedo from 0.29 towards 0.30. According to a very simple "zero-dimensional" model of the Earth, this would lead to a drop in global temperature of up to 1 °C, almost exactly cancelling out the global warming that has taken place since the start of the industrial revolution. A zero-dimensional model, however, excludes the atmosphere and, crucially, the role of clouds. It would be interesting to see if more sophisticated models predict a similar magnitude of cooling.

Hey, all that looking into the thermal efficiency of types and colours of roofing may be a good thing, not just for me, but for the planet. I found a chart somewhere that compared the heat transmission of different roofing types, here is a quick summary:
  • Zincalume - 5% heat transmission
  • Colourbond (Off-white) - 10% heat transmission
  • Colourbond (Other colours) - 19%+ heat transmission
  • Clay/concrete tiles (Any colour) - 25%+ heat transmission

I'm doing my bit...

New Scientist Back Page - Snow laughing matter

Of all things XBox 360

(Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Say NO to stupidity...

The 2nd of December is White Ribbon Day or, to use its full and official title, 'The International Day of Stupidity for Van Tuong Nguyen'. By wearing a white ribbon, everyone can demonstrate their support for the abolition of stupidity in todays society.

Now before you get all righteous on my ass, listen to me for a second. This guy obviously wasn't in his right mind when he made a decision to transport drugs out of Singapore for his brother. He decided to play his chances with a regime well known for their disciplined handling of drug traffickers and he lost. All the crowing in the world won't save his butt now.

There is a small chance Singapore government may relent, very very small chance of that though, but I doubt it as they do not want to lose face. They have made a decision and they will stick to it.

In the end Van Nguyen will pay the price for his brothers drug activities. The Nguyen's must be so proud of their sole remaining twin.

In celebration of this momentous day you are all invited to do a line...

Rove to get a revamp...

From this article:
AILING variety show Rove Live is to undergo a major revamp in a bid to bolster its flagging ratings.

The show, hosted by triple Gold Logie winner Rove McManus, has struggled to attract substantial audience figures this year, often falling as low as 650,000 viewers nationally in its 9.30pm Tuesday time slot.

How are they going to revamp Rove Live!?
Ten insiders say the show will be "more unpredictable, have edgier segments, have more energy and spontaneity" next year.

So we can look forward to more Rove listener games/pranks, even shorter interviews, louder, brighter, etc.

Hey, it might rate better... for a few weeks then it will all became stale again.


Everyone nows about the main 2 additional plates used by drivers on our roads, 'L' and 'P'.

I had an odd brainstorm the other day whilst driving. Unsurprisingly it was spurred by one or more of the following stereotypes. Again unsurprisingly, I encountered them in the Spearwood to Hamilton Hill area along Rockingham Road.

Suggestions for new additiuonal plates:
  • 'E' plate - For elderly drivers. Even though you can tell elderly drivers from the hat on the rear parcel shelf, there is still a large section of the elderly community who do not play bowls so we need to advertise the location of these drivers to us all. Advertising the elderly nature of the driver will prepare you for sudden unannounced turns, lane changes and braking. As soon as you reach 65 the plate is issued. The obvious overlap with the Extraordinary plate used for reinstated drivers can be solved by issuing them with a 'D' (drunk) plate. Biege E on blue background.

  • 'S' plate - For habitual speeders. For those drivers among us that always speed no matter wherever they are. 60 zone? They'll do 75. 80 zone? They'll do 100. Usually related to the habitual tailgater, these plates will prepare you for the tailgating and general impatientness of these drivers on the road. As soon as you loose more than 6 points in a 6 month period, you are issued with the plate. Red S on dayglo orange background for added visibility.

  • 'Y' plate - For the hip young female drivers. Ever seen a young female applying make up or doing their hair while driving? Did you notice their actions just after you were nearly side swiped or cut off by said young female? These plates will help you prepare for just those occasions so you can protect yourself from their crap driving. Mitsubishi Lancer coupe's will be fitted with the 'Y' plate as standard. Black Y, background colours will change season to season.

Any more people want to suggest?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Education standards...

Check this email out I received today:
Interesting post on Aus-DotNet

My kids had a maths sheet sent home for homework (primary grade 3) and one of the questions was: fill in the missing number.

4 / ? = 0

This apparently is a Dept of Education homework sheet.

After approaching the teacher, who believed that the answer was zero, and principal who referred the response that this was totally incorrect to higher powers, this was the response I got:


the answer to your question is as follows:

The children need to know the associative law:

2 x 0 = 0
2 divided by 0 = 0

They need to know the relationship between multiplication and division as we learn our times tables. The aim of this problem is also to understanding how division and multiplication work.

They also need to know that zero is a place holder.

How scary is that?

I would say the majority of parents wouldn't even know that '4 / 0 = 0' is wrong. I am utterly appalled by this.

House Update #11 - A house needs a roof...

Flickr Photo

Woohoo, we have a roof.

As I have never built a house before and going by what friends and family (who have built before) are saying, this house is going up fast. Our across the road neighbours have been stuck at the same spot for the last 6-7 weeks with nothing happening. Pit falls of going with a builder who has way too much work on I guess.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Forums, blogs, etc...

"The internet has become a place where people with zero confidence and no spine can posture a bit by sticking their chest out and babbling like a gorilla."

Steve Pender

I know this subject is quite close to Tom's heart and we have all seen it.

Is it affecting the internet in a bad way or has it come to be an accepted thing? Why should the abuse and pure hate that is dished out on forums, blogs, etc. be accepted just because there is a semblance of anonymity? If, as an offender, you meet the person you dish the shit to on a forum in real life, would you stand by the statements you make?

Will slander and libel laws catch up with the internet? Or is the global aspect be too much for the law to handle?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Too much time...

Everyone knows about the people with no life who inhabit the 'net, I never knew the scope of their problem... until now...

I did a search on Wikipedia for LV-426 (ask Mark) and found a truly amazing article. An extract of it is included for your enjoyment:
LV-426, also known as Acheron, is the name of the fictitious moon (frequently but erroneously referred to as a planet) where the Alien was first encountered by humans in the movie Alien (1979) of the Alien Series. It bears a strong resemblence to Saturn's moon, Titan.

LV-426 is a moon in orbit around a gas giant in the Zeta II Reticuli system, which lies beyond the "Outer Rim." LV-426 has .86 Earth gravity and is geologically active, judging from its surface composition (igneous rock, "lava base") and steam vents on its surface. Prior to terraforming, the atmosphere consisted mostly of nitrogen, crystalised carbon dioxide, and methane, and its temperature was well below the Celsius line. The source materials differ widely on the diameter of this world: figures of 1,200 m, 1,200 km and 12,201 km are given in different sources. Out of these, 12,201 km (from the Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual) is the only one that is possible given the surface gravity.

Most of the details in the passage above are not supplied in any of the Alien movies, and a check into the "Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual" tells me it is a piece of reasonable fan-fiction. What drives these people to invest so much time and effort, and possibly money, into a wholly fictional reality extending it with their own ideas?

Aliens isn't the end of this madness either, go have a look at a few Star Wars and Star Trek related entries on Wikipedia.

I think Wikipedia need to start looking into these articles a bit closer. The way they read seem to represent the fictional reality as a real one. Especially the entry for Alderaan, so much history and backstory that was written by fans has made its way into the article. If the Wikipedia Foundation wish to be a real player in the encyclopedia business they need to start making sure their content is factual and when it is not, clearly label it as so.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Airbrushing as an art...

Take a look at the picture... How much airbrushing was done there? If it wasn't airbrushed I would have to say that Ms Aniston has got a damn weird looking body. If that picture was supposed to convey any sort of sexual attractiveness, I think it missed its mark.

Look who's woman of the year - People - Entertainment -

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Are Sony complete cunts?

Sorry about the language above but a patent that Sony holds could mean the end to lending your DVDs to family, friends and the entire rental industry.

It recently came to light that Sony Computer Entertainment received a U.S. patent exactly one year before on a one-system-one-disc technology that renders movie or game discs useless on more than one playback unit. If implemented, the technology would prevent affected discs from being rented or resold.

The patent describes a process by which every media disc is shipped with a unique registration key. The first time the media disc is inserted into a player, that key is read and the disc is registered by the player, then the original key on the disc is rendered unreadable. Any attempt to play a registered disc in another player will fail.

Are consumers going to take this? Will this be the DRM device that will piss people off enough to start doing something about it?

Video Business Online - 11/14/2005 - Sony patents anti-rental tech - CA6283697

Perfect gift...

I think I have now seen it all...

Samsung have a released a new mobile specifically targetted at the modern woman.

What makes it so special you might ask?

Well it has a Pink Schedule built in to the phone, along with a Calorie Counter and a Body Mass Index calculator.

Just for the Ladies- Pink Schedule, Calories Calculator, Bio Rhythm, Fatness Indicator

What is Calories Calculator?

Calculate the amount of calories burnt for doing daily work like cooking, shopping as well as sports activities like jogging, aerobics and dancing, and manage your fitness every day.

What is Fatness Calculator?

Based on standard Body Mass Index (BMI) tables, the Fatness calculator provides a quick and easy check on whether you are within the healthy weight range for your frame. Simply key in your weight and height and the calculator will display the result and its evaluation (thin, slight thin, normal, slight fat or fat).

What is Pink Schedule?

Using this feature, you can enter information on your menstrual cycle and determine the

1. Date of next ovulation
2. Probability of becoming pregnant on the current date
3. Period during which it is possible to become pregnant
4. Date of your next period

It might just be the perfect gift for the weight, child and calorie obsessed woman in your life...

SAMSUNG's Digital World - GSM | SGH-A400

Cow-punching and horse wine...

I think it must have taken a while for Ali G to get to Kazakhstan if they are pissed off about Borat only now. Didn't Borat make his first appearance 3-4 years ago?

KAZAKHSTAN'S Foreign Ministry threatened legal action overnight against a British comedian who wins laughs by portraying the central Asian state as a country populated by drunks who enjoy cow-punching as a sport.

Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays a spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat in his Da Ali G Show, has won fame ridiculing Kazakhstan, the world's ninth largest country yet still little known to many in the West, on British, Australian and US channels.

Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.

"We do not rule out that Mr Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev said.

"We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind." He declined to elaborate.

Ali G threatened -

That sounds like a terrorist threat to me :)

Monday, November 14, 2005

How sad is this?

Someone has to be really serious about their ice cream...
Click to enlarge

This idea came from one of our fans! He wrote us about how he lives in mental turmoil after buying Ben Jerry's. He was so afraid that his roommates would eat his pint...he couldn't concentrate at work! He suggested we sell our pints in stainless steel, bulletproof containers with a little padlock. While we couldn't actually do THAT, we came up with the Euphori-Lock!


Rally Australia 2005 Photos

A selection of photos from the weekend:

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House Update #10 - Raise the roof!

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Well, things are still moving at a pretty good pace on our house. Last week all the roof timber went up, eaves went in and fascias installed (as you can see). This week the sparkies will move in to wire up the place before the Colourbond roofing goes on.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Goodbye Keith

I attended the funeral of my step-grandfather, Keith, yesterday afternoon and it reaffirmed my belief that organised religion is a load of bollocks.

No disrespect to Keith here, he was a great man who lived a pretty full 88 years. Keith was part of my life for more than 25 years, I am 29 now, so I have a great many memories of him. I just take issue with the religion he chose to follow, Catholicism.

I haven't been to a proper church service in at least 12 years, the only times I go into a church these days is for weddings and funerals, with the occasional baptism. The services are just as I remembered them, more importance is given to the procedure and symbolism than to following God's word. Most, if not all, people reading this blog will know I don't give a toss about God, but isn't the point of following a religion to follow God's word and live the way he/she/it proscribes rather than imitating the actions of his supposed son.

In the middle of mourning the huge video screen in the church showing the words of the hymns and psalms gave me some mirth. It was quite funny to see a church full of people (mostly 60-plus year olds) singing along like at a karaoke bar staring at this giant screen.

And the geek in me noticed another thing, the slides being shown on the giant karaoke screen had the quality of a Powerpoint 1.0 presentation. Great big Roman font, crappy clip art images (I was looking for some of the 'LOL Jesus' pictures) and the left margin being quite fluid. It was great work. You would think that an organisation as rich and vast as the Catholic Church might be able to hire some graphic design/marketroids to give them some better presentations.

I will end this entry with a question to you all... Do you think it is hypocritical or disingenuous for people who are not religious in any way to partake in Holy Communion just because they attend a service?