Friday, December 30, 2005

Damn this sickness crap...

Well, it is nearly confirmed as to why I have been feeling quite shit for a while now. It seems that I have contracted the Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that causes Glandular Fever.

I have the extremely sore throat, aches and pains, headaches and lethargy and can expect to have it for a couple of more weeks at least. Then comes the time when just the lethargy will continue on for six weeks or more and possibly flare up in the future. Oh yay.

Friday, December 23, 2005

House Update #13 - Let's get plastered...

Just a mini-update today as I haven't got any new pictures yet.

We went for a look out at the house yesterday and nearly all our walls are plastered. Damn it looks good. Chatting to the head plaster guy, he reckons they will be finished today. The change in the house from bare walls to the float to the plaster is just amazing. Combine that with the ceilings and the space just seems to get larger. I called the site supervisor about getting some people in to do final measurements and he says that the should be at lock-up by late next week.

In other news, we have organised our floor tiles from a place in Mandurah at a damn good price, $48.50/m2 fully laid. They are 450 mm x 450 mm porcelain tiles that should look great all through the house. Also we put down the deposit on the carpets on Monday. This weekend it is time for blind hunting. We saw some awesome looking Jamaican blinds (Roman blinds but with exposed wooden ribs) in a house last weekend that we want to look into and see if they come into our budget.

Photos coming soon...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I reckon he was running from the police...

Quite an interesting find has been made in the middle of NSW, about 10 km north of nowhere.
HUNDREDS of human footprints dating back to about 20,000BC - the oldest in Australia and the largest collection of its kind in the world - have been discovered in Mungo National Park in western NSW.

They were left by children, adolescents and adults at the height of the last ice age as they ran and walked across a moist clay area near the Willandra Lakes.

Some people appear to have been hunting, with one very tall man sprinting at about 20kmh.

The first footprint was spotted by Mary Pappin Junior, of the Mutthi Mutthi people, two years ago and more than 450 more have been uncovered by a team led by Steve Webb of Bond University.


Revealed: the runners of 20,000BC - smh.com.au

Pity this won't shut the damn freaks up...

Let's see how long until the 'intelligent design' (or 'creationism in a lab coat') community starts crying foul on this one.
THE ruling by a US Federal Court judge in Pennsylvania that the theory of intelligent design was not science but religion and therefore could not be taught in high school science classes is a serious blow to its advocates, but it is unlikely to end the controversy that has dominated the so-called culture wars in America.

After a six-week hearing in which the leading proponents of intelligent design and some of the country's best known evolutionary biologists debated whether intelligent design was just creationism dressed up as science, Judge John Jones, a Republican appointed by President George Bush, delivered the supporters of evolution a comprehensive victory.

In a 135-page written judgement, Judge Jones accepted that Darwin's theory of evolution was imperfect. "However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom," he said.


Evolution wins the battle over school science - smh.com.au

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Interesting times ahead for McLaren...

In a very strange turn of events, recently crowned F1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, has signed to drive for McLaren in 2007.
WORLD champion Fernando Alonso will quit Renault once he has defended his Formula One title next season after accepting a "too good to miss" offer to drive for McLaren from 2007.

It is a very strange move for Fernando to sign onto another team a season in advance. Will this hurt his prospects of defending his title? I don't think we will find out until a few races into next year.

McLaren signs Alonso for 2007 - Fox Sports

I think this move has a lot to do with an announcement made by McLaren last week in regards to naming rights sponsorship in 2007.
VODAFONE, which quit recently as Manchester United's shirt sponsor, will join the McLaren Formula One team from 2007.

The move is a blow for Ferrari but a powerful vote of confidence in F1's future.

With F1 divided and carmakers still threatening a "rival: series from 2008, the Mercedes-powered team and mobile phone giant announced a long-term deal overnight that could be one of the sport's biggest yet.

No financial details were given but team boss Ron Dennis said the agreement is for 10 years with a break clause after five years.

Vodafone's existing contract with Ferrari, not as a title sponsor, is worth an estimated $40 million a year to the former champion.

"We have similar levels of investment but many more rights and flexibility to build our brand for the future," said Vodafone's chief marketing officer Peter Bamford.

Fernando is in very high demand by the media at present and Vodafone want a face to put to their campaign. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are getting on a bit and don't appeal to the SMS generation as much as Alonso does.

Vodafone to sponsor McLaren - Fox Sports

What this means for Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya is unknown at present, but Kimi has been linked with a post-Schumacher Ferrari seat. With Schumacher talking about retirement after his pretty horrible year in F1 this year, 2007 could be a good year for Kimi to move to Ferrari after all the new engine, aerodynamic and tyre rules bedded down by then. Kimi could walk into a winning team.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

5 million gamer nerds can't be wrong...

Or can they?

It seems that World of Warcraft has just hit another milestone. It has surpassed 5 million customers worldwide. It doesn't say if that is the currently active players or just the number of unique people who have registered on the server. Whether they stuck around and played or just gave up is a mystery.

From the press release:
IRVINE, California - December 19, 2005 - Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®, its massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has surpassed five million customers worldwide. The subscription-based MMORPG launched approximately one year ago in North America, Australia, and New Zealand and has since released in multiple countries throughout Europe and Asia. This latest milestone comes on the heels of Blizzard Entertainment®'s recent announcement of a World of Warcraft expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade™, which will push the boundaries of the game and offer even more content and features for players.

"World of Warcraft's growth continues to exceed all our expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We want to reiterate our thanks to the millions of players worldwide and to all the retailers who have enthusiastically supported the game over the past year. Our commitment to continue growing World of Warcraft is stronger than ever, with development on future content patches and on our 2006 expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, well underway. We look forward to offering even more content for current customers in the months ahead and welcoming new players into the world this holiday season."

Even if there are only 2 million people active and paying the minimum monthly fee, that is still a staggering US$26 million in revenue per month. I think their development costs are well and truly covered...

Blizzard Entertainment - Press Release

Monday, December 19, 2005

Was it a memo or a report?

Typical of the coalition government, instead of dealing with the issue of whether Costello mislead parliament, they decide to quibble over the definition.

The latest effort is about whether the Treasury gave a report or memo to Costello about the costs of the workplace reforms.
TREASURER Peter Costello has denied allegations that he misled Parliament over a Treasury analysis that showed sweeping workplace changes would put pressure on low income earners.

Mr Costello also questioned the accuracy of the Treasury documents, which show the workplace changes passed by Parliament in early December will deliver smaller wage rises for low income earners and cut productivity in the short term.

The Treasurer denied the existence of analysis on the subject when asked about it in Parliament in November.

Today, Mr Costello said he had been relying on a statement from the Treasury that it had not prepared a report on the effects of the Government's workplace reforms.

He said the Treasury analysis, obtained by The Australian newspaper under Freedom of Information laws, was a minute from Treasury that makes the case for workplace reform.

In an excellent piece of confusing politics Costello blurted out the following:
A report was carried in The Australian on November 5, 2005, which said that there had been specially commissioned advice from the Treasury and ... not me, but Treasury put out a statement saying that there hadn't been specially commissioned advice from the Treasury in relation to that."

Mr Costello said the question he answered in Parliament in November was about the existence of specially commissioned research on economic modelling, not a Treasury minute. He denied he was splitting hairs about the analysis.

"What's been released today is a minute, which is not specially commissioned research or modelling, but a minute which gathers together all of the economic case in relation to the importance of labour market deregulation," he said.

The Treasury still put the information out there that the touted benefits of the workplace reforms are questionable and marginal at best. Whether or not it was a commissioned report by the Treasurer or not doesn't matter.

No wonder the general public is sick and tired of politics and don't put any effort in voting...

Treasury advice just a 'memo' - NEWS.com.au

Friday, December 16, 2005

Beazley's blubber is starving his brain of oxygen...

Well after the announcement of the bigger-than-expected budget surplus all the talk has been about tax cuts. Costello has toned down his approach to tax cuts in favour of spending on defence and health. At last some sense.

But Mr Beazley has now come out and tried to put his foot in his mouth, I suspect he has actually put his fat hand in his mouth cos I doubt he could get his foot that high.
AUSTRALIANS deserved a bigger tax cut now, rather than closer to the next election, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said today.

A mid-year economic review has revealed the forecast for this year's surplus has swelled to $11.5 billion – up $2.6 billion on the May Budget's prediction. Treasurer Peter Costello hinted that more tax cuts could be on the way after the bigger-than-expected surplus.

But Mr Beazley said those tax cuts needed to come quickly, adding he would give Australians better tax relief if Labor was elected to government.

"My message to (Prime Minister) John Howard and to Peter Costello is this is not your money, this is the taxpayer's money," he told Macquarie Radio.

It may be taxpayer's money but if things aren't being funded to an adeqwuate level, then there should be no tax cuts.

Better tax cut now: Beazley - NEWS.com.au

Infantile Terrorists (literally)

Has the whole anti-terrorism push gone too far?
There's no getting off that no-fly list

Sarah Zapolsky was checking in for a flight to Italy when she discovered that her 9-month-old son's name was on the United States' "no fly" list of suspected terrorists.

"We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled," Zapolsky said, recalling the July incident at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. "The desk agent started laughing...She couldn't print us out a boarding pass because he's on the no-fly list."

This seems to be happening quite regularly that people are finding themselves on the no-fly list for no reason. They have access to all the birth and death records, you would think they could link up that data to their own to produce an age specific no-fly list. Not just a name based one.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 28,000 people have applied to the TSA redress office to get on the "cleared list," which takes note of individuals whose names are similar to those on the terrorism watch list, but even getting on that list does not guarantee an end to hassles related to the no-fly list.

The TSA does not reveal how many or which names are actually on the list, and complaints do not get names removed, since those names are also those of suspected terrorists. The best that innocent travelers can hope for is a letter from the TSA that it says should facilitate travel but is no panacea.

If 28,000 people have applied to have their names removed from the no-fly list just because their names are similar to a suspected terrorist, how many people do they have on the list of suspected terrorists?

I wonder how hard it would be to put someone onto the no-fly list, can you just drop the FBI a few anonymous tips about someone?

There's no getting off that no-fly list - News.com

Thursday, December 15, 2005

There aren't enough terrorists wanting to destroy the US...

...so Bush is gonna create some more...
US President George W. Bush has called Iran "a real threat", repeated his charge from 2002 that it was part of an "axis of evil", and urged Tehran to prove it does not seek nuclear weapons.

Washington accuses Tehran of using a civilian nuclear program to hide a quest for atomic weapons, and has charged that Iran is a destabilising force in Iraq.

Isn't the US also a destabilising force in Iraq? But, of course, what the US does is never wrong is it...

If Iran ever gets nuclear weapons, it might actually encourage Israel to pull their head in a bit. I suppose that is the main reason behind the US's opposition to Iran getting nukes, to keep their little friends in Israel all safe.

Iran a real threat, says Bush - NEWS.com.au

Hey Peter!

Why don't you spend it where it might be needed rather than give a tax cut?
TREASURER Peter Costello has hinted that more tax cuts could be on their way after unveiling a bigger-than-expected budget surplus.

The mid-year economic review released today revealed the forecast for this year's surplus has swelled to $11.5 billion - up $2.6 billion on the May budget's prediction.

I dunno, you could possibly spend some of it on funding frivolous things likes Medicare, universities or a myriad other things that you have stripped funding from over the last 10 years...

Costello hints at more tax cuts - NEWS.com.au

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wanted: Campers. Must supply own computer and bodyguard.


Unreal Tournament 2007 will have approximately 40 unique levels covering a diverse set of environments, along with 45 fully playable characters. The game will also include seven major game types in total, 18 vehicles and 14 handheld weapons.

Monday, December 12, 2005

PM hasn't got his answers ready yet...

I think Janet might need to buy John a dictionary for Christmas...
Prime Minister John Howard today refused to call Australians racist following the mob violence in Sydney.

But he said attacking people on their basis of their race was totally unacceptable.

"Mob violence is always sickening," Mr Howard told reporters.

"Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics," he said.

"I believe yesterday's behaviour was completely unacceptable but I'm not going to put a general tag (of) racism on the Australian community.

"I think it's a term that is flung around sometimes carelessly and I'm simply not going to do so."

Ummm, I thought attacking someone on the grounds of their appearance or ethinicity is racism?
racism

n 1: the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races
2: discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race

And of course he would deny the following...
Mr Howard also dismissed any suggestion his government's warnings about home-grown terrorists had fuelled the rampage.

"It is impossible to know how individuals react but everything this government's said about home-grown terrorism has been totally justified," Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney.

"It is a potential threat. To suggest that one should remain silent ... knowing what I know because that might antagonise someone else is a complete failure of leadership."

Tell us John, what DO you know?

PM refuses to use racist tag - smh.com.au

Don't poke the hornets nest...

I'm sure the bogans beating up this poor middle eastern fellow are proud they got their faces shown all across the country, possibly the world, because I think their might be some people wanting some revenge. The added image of them using beer bottles to enact the beating really does wonderful things for the image of the aussie bloke doesn't it?
The violence followed a week of simmering tension after an attack the previous Sunday on two lifesavers. Appeals by text message for "Aussies" to descend on the beach to reclaim it drew a crowd estimated at 5000 people, but a carnival atmosphere in the morning gave way to an ugly mood as a hard core of about 200 turned violent. Thousands chanted them on.

The trouble began with scuffles about midday. As the crowd moved along the beach and foreshore area, a man on the back of a utility began to shout "No more Lebs" - a chant picked up by the group around him. Others in the crowd yelled "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie … Oi, Oi, Oi". Members of the mob set upon their prey with fists, feet, flags and beer bottles. Two paramedics were injured as they tried to get victims out of the North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club, where they had fled to escape the rioters. One of the women had fled into the clubhouse for safety after her headscarf was ripped off.

The crowd broke the windows of the ambulance and kicked its doors as the officers attempted to get the group out. Police, who used capsicum spray and batons in their battle to quell the rioters, were also pelted with beer bottles, and in some cases their cars were swamped and stomped on as they tried to move from one violent flare-up to the next. They sometimes appeared powerless to keep up with the moving mob.

About 7.30pm a young man of Lebanese appearance, arms held out imploringly, sprinted south on a footpath towards the protective shield of the police stationed at Cronulla Beach, hotly pursued by a drunken mob numbering hundreds. He outran the mob and was saved by police, who placed him in the back of a police van, which was then surrounded by the mob.

As the van drove away, one young Caucasian girl laughed and said to a male companion: "That was sick. I've never seen a dumb Leb run so fast. How good was that?"

The riots in Sydney yesterday were completely disgusting. You have a large group of white bogan Australians beating the living shit out of anybody of middle eastern appearance. In one incident, 2 guys on a train were set upon by over 20 bogans before the police stepped in and broke it up.

I wonder if these bogans realise what they were doing? If you have ever dealt with any middle eastern cultures, you will know they are quite peaceful until they feel you are attacking or demeaning towards them. They then like to respond in kind to those attacks.
A 23-year-old man was in St George Hospital in a serious condition after a fight in Woolooware about 10.25pm. A radio report said he had a knife embedded in his back. Police said the man was with friends when he had an altercation outside a golf club with a "group of males of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance".

The middle eastern folk were a bit smarter about how they returned fire too... They did it at night away from the media. And don't think that this is finished, this will continue for a while now...

Now we can just wait for the inevitable passing of blame from person to person. I don't think any one person is to blame for the current feeling of resentment towards middle eastern folk, I think it is a product of the government and the media all using the threat of terrorism to drive their own agendas.

UPDATE: I found this on a forum chatting about the riots yesterday.
The events at Cronulla were a great start and they have totally shaken the Australian ZOG at its very core. ZOG will now do all it can to put a lid on the rage and anger and this is the most dangerous aspect of the situation as there will be arrests of patriots and a further suppression of civil liberties of whites while the apologists for the muslim scum will step up their activity. It is unfortunate but until the underlying root cause is eliminated the symptoms will continue to get worse. The filthy JEW is the cancer at the root of the problem and I think that these events will be a good opportunity to educate many of the protestors about the poison that is the kike and his genocidal and tyrannical ZOG state apparatus which seeks to create a turd world melting pot out of every white country. The yoke of this criminal tyranny must be thrown of if Australia is to survive as a civilised white European outpost in a sea of sub humanity.

I bet this guy is a nice productive member of the community.

Richard Pryor (1940 - 2005)

GROUNDBREAKING comedian Richard Pryor, whose profanely personal insights into race relations and modern life made him one of Hollywood's biggest stars, died of a heart attack yesterday aged 65.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Busted!

An idea I considered trying back in uni has been tried and eventually failed through greed.
Boulder - Jonathan Baldino might be off the "nice" list.

Police say Baldino used homemade bar codes to buy electronic gadgets at prices far below any legitimate discount. The 19-year-old is facing three counts of being naughty - one of them a Class 5 felony.

Baldino was detained by Target security Wednesday after he purchased a $150 iPod with a bar-code label of $4.99.

Now that was damn silly wasn't it... As if someone wouldn't notice an iPod walking out the door for $5...
Baldino, a freshman electrical-engineering student at the University of Colorado, told police that he made phony bar codes from real bar codes taken from inexpensive merchandise, then glued those bar codes on to big-ticket items at Target, according to the police report.

After meeting a few electrical-engineering undergraduates at uni, I can confirm that they aren't as bright as they appear. The air of nerdiness surrounding electrical-engineering is severely tempered with copious amounts of alcohol and flux fumes.

This might have worked out if he had done 3 things:
  • Choosing items that relate to the targeted item. Example, find an iPod accessory like an iPod case to replace the iPod barcode with, when it rings up on the register iPod will display throwing off initial suspicions. With the intelligence and attention levels of most checkout staff in short supply, he would have walked out quite easily. You may end up spending a bit more but in the end you are still getting something really cheap.
  • Change the location of your deeds. Don't just go to one store to get all your purchases. Get the barcode from one store, purchase in another.
  • Once you have your gear either launder it quickly or reduce the amount of evidence attached to it. This idiot was caught with the fake barcode still on a printer box he purchased that they didnt know he had faked.

The moral of the story is that being a criminal takes more brains than being honest...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The collection plate...

If any of you has worked in a small department or small company before you have probably experienced the departing person collection plate. You know the one, the leaving card does the rounds and everyone chucks in five bucks to send the person on their merry way to a new job (probably with more money too).

In most places where I have worked the collection plate hasn't circulated too often as the workforce has been quite stable, but lately at work the collection plate has done the rounds about 5 or 6 times in the last 3 months. I deal with it cos it is the way things are...

But yesterday marked a change in the way things are... Someone was having a birthday and the collection plate was circulated for them. Isn't this getting a little out of hand? When you have around up to thirty people circulating through the office, if the collection plate comes out for all of them it starts to be a bit costly.

It is all well and good to say to not put money into the pot but there seems to be a certain expectation that if other people put some in, then all should.

Is there some unofficial guidelines to the office collection plate someone knows about somewhere?

This may sound a little bah humbug, especially this close to christmas, but I had to have my little rant.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

NEWSFLASH: AOL users dumber than initially thought

Well, it isn't really a newsflash... It really shouldn't surprise most folk that have been around the internet for an extended amount of time.

The latest proof that AOL users are stupid comes in the form of an IM worm that chats to the recipient. A little bit of social engineering always helps a virus/worm go further, but social engineering AOL users is pure gold.
A new worm that targets users of America Online's AOL Instant Messenger is believed to be the first that actually chats with the intended victim to dupe the target into activating a malicious payload, IM security vendor IMlogic warned Tuesday.

According to IMlogic, the worm, dubbed IM.Myspace04.AIM, has arrived in instant messages that state: "lol thats cool" and included a URL to a malicious file "clarissa17.pif." When unsuspecting users have responded, perhaps asking if the attachment contained a virus, the worm has replied: "lol no its not its a virus", IMlogic said.

The malicious file disables security software, installs a backdoor and tweaks system files, the company said. Then it starts sending itself to contacts on the victim's buddy list.

But the worm is programmed so that the infected user cannot see the messages that are being sent out by the worm, according to IMlogic.

How simple is the conversation that it strikes up?

'lol thats cool' and 'lol no its not its a virus', stupid AOL users... Even the second message tells you it is a virus, but the stupid yokels/hicks/trailer trash that use AOL probably don't understand English well enough to comprehend what it is saying. Grade 5 was the hardest 10 years of their lives, then they got married to their cousin.

New IM worm chats with intended victims - CNET news.com

WilliamsF1 find a new sponsor...

WilliamsF1 have announced that they have signed a 'partnership deal' with Philips shavers - a move that will see Philips become the 'Male Shaving Partner' for the Grove based squad.

The deal, it is hoped, will 'offer Philips marketing opportunities specifically designed to drive sales and position Philips shavers as the premier male shaver brand to the F1 audience'.

Since they won't be really supplying any technical value to the team, unlike the HP/Compaq deal, this is presumed to be a cash only deal with Philips leveraging the 'partnership' with a new product...
The partnership is supported by specific designed Philips and WilliamsF1 shavers, which are scheduled for release in 2006.

Who really wants a shaver that gets the image that it is inconsistent, prone to failures and requires a whole pit crew to recharge and clean the thing?

Williams link up with Philips for close shave! - Crash.net

Hoo-fucking-ray!

As if there wasn't enough ads in movie theatres now, some idiots want to put even more ads in...
Moviegoers should get used to those ads shown as they settle into their seats.

Ad forecasters at ZenithOptimedia said on Monday that spending on in-theater ads, usually shown before the trailers, rose by 18% this year to $400 million and likely will go up by about 15% each year through 2008.

Driving growth is digital projection that makes it easy to change ads or target ads to different audiences, says Tim Jones, CEO of ZenithOptimedia's U.S. operations. "That's directly attributable to the medium becoming more digital. It gives advertisers more options and affordability from a production standpoint."

Excuse me, but if they are going to go hard on thrying to get more advertisers into theatres, why can't they bring the prices of tickets and, more importantly, popcorn down a bit. It is all about acceptable trade-offs, I'll sit through more ads if the popcorn comes for free.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's the end of the world as we know it...

WorldNetDaily is reporting that Thai and Indonesian doctors fear that the avian may have made the mutation to enable human to human transmission.
Officials in at least two nations now suspect the avian flu bug has mutated into a virus that is being transmitted from human to human – a development world health authorities have estimated could result in the deaths of tens of millions.

Thai health officials have expressed concern that the country's two latest confirmed victims may be the beginning of the much feared human-to-human transmission.

Dr. Charoen Chuchottaworn, an avian-flu expert at the Public Health Ministry, said doctors reviewing the cases were alerted by the very mild symptoms present in both patients, neither of whom had had any recent contact with birds or poultry.

The doctors are unsure as to how either of the infected contracted the disease and have raised the possibility that the virus has traded its pathogenicity for ease of transmission.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the disease is spreading so rapidly, particularly in the capital of Jakarta, some health officials strongly suspect the long-dreaded mutation has already occurred.

"There are just too many people who have it," said one doctor. "In many cases, it is difficult to establish any contact with birds."

And they point to a rosy future if the mutation has occured...
With one small genetic adjustment in Influenza A, or H5N1, millions of people could die, warns World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shigeru Omi. Omi has called for health ministers and representatives to launch an all-out war on the deadly strain.

If the virus acquires sufficient human genes, allowing transmission from one person to another, an estimated 2 million to 7.4 million people around the world could die, the WHO estimates.

Some health officials make even more dire predictions. They point to the great flu pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed far more people worldwide than died in World War I – an estimated 40 to 50 million people.

And I feel fine...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy 'Van Tuong Nguyen' Day

Well today is the day. With no chance of reprieve in sight, Van Tuong Nguyen will almost definitely hang today.

If the crowing and bleating is this bad when one person goes to their death, just imagine how bad it will be when the 'Bali 9' go before the firing squad...

I am all excited with anticipation... NOT

UPDATE: 7:40 am, well it appears to have happened and going by the media coverage Van Nguyen is now a martyr. He can someone who could have been responsible for helping to ruin the lives of hundreds of people be a martyr?

The jokes have started too...
If you think the funnelwebs are deadly in Sydney, you should see the trapdoors in Singapore...

An SMS reportedly sent by Van:
"hi mum it's van... won't make it home for xmas, just hanging out in Singapore"


UPDATE: 8:00 am

I found this letter in the Straits Times. Yes, I know they are essentially a government mouthpiece but the points made are quite valid.
Nguyen pushed drugs despite twin's addiction

AS AN American who has accepted my country's use of the death penalty to punish murderers, I hope to offer a relatively objective view of the controversy over Singapore's execution of Australian heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van.

I find the mandatory death sentence for the non-violent crime of drug trafficking to be incredibly harsh. I therefore would expect Australia to plead for clemency, and I support its efforts in doing so. Yet, I do not think that disputing the death penalty should devolve into attacks on Singapore.

Some Australian clemency sentiments have morphed into unfair and witless attacks on Singapore: Official calls for trade bans; threats of long-term resentment; a union's talk of refusing to service Singapore Airlines planes at Australian airports; and even the insulting characterisation of Singapore as a 'rogue Chinese port city'.

These attacks on Singapore lack the perspective of Nguyen's culpability and forget that Singapore did not instigate the present controversy - rather, Singapore is reacting to a crime with good-faith application of its long-established laws.

Have some Australians forgotten that Nguyen carried out an activity whose only possible outcome would be to harm the people of Australia? The country is his adopted homeland, it is the place that welcomed and supported his family fleeing Vietnam.

What makes his crime even more egregious is that he knew, first-hand, the harm that heroin can inflict on a family because his twin brother Khoa was an addict - yet he sought out the trafficking job, knowing full well that he would facilitate the pain of drugs he experienced upon other families.

Compare Nguyen's intended harm to Australia with Singapore's law enforcement: Looking at it with emotional detachment, Singapore's mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking, if anything, helps Australia.

By deterring traffickers from going through Singapore, a major transit point between heroin-growing regions and Australia, drug suppliers would have a much more difficult time distributing their poisons.

Singapore did not start the controversy, Nguyen did. Singapore has had its death penalty on the books for the past few decades. The country is enforcing the death penalty on Nguyen just as it had for hundreds of other criminals. This is nothing new.

Yet only now are some Australians attacking Singapore at a fever pitch-when the law is being enforced against an Australian.

Warren K. Woo
California, USA


UPDATE: 2:40 pm
Queensland Parliament's silent tribute

Queensland parliament observed a minute's silence for hanged convicted drug smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van despite comments that it was an `insult' to diggers.

Premier Peter Beattie moved a motion to mark the death of the 25-year-old Melbourne man, who went to the gallows in Singapore's Changi Prison early today, as a `gesture of sympathy' for his family.

Bloody hell.

Geez, if you are gonna hold a minute's silence for Van Nguyen, why didn't you hold a minute silence for when David Birnie died in gaol? Mr Birnie and his wife only killed 4 women, the 400g of heroin could have ended or at least ruined hundreds of times more lives than that.

How about if Saddam Hussein gets the death penalty, will people plead for clemency or hold a minute silence for his death?

DirectX 10... and so it ends!

Is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot or just pissing off gamers?

Changes for DirectX 10 have been announced and it may annoy some people.
There are troubled times ahead. Through one bold move, Microsoft has decided that it will not support, the already too old DirectX 9, not to mention DirectX 8 or any of the previous versions. But... it appears to be some logic hidden somewhere.

The new DirectX will not be named Windows Graphic Foundation (WGF) as it was planned and will remain at the old name, as in DirectX 10. It will be released with their brand new operating system Vista. This new API will be composed of new and faster dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and will run much faster (so they say).

Microsoft has decided that backward compatibly with DirectX 9,8,7 isn't really necessary as there will probably will be even less compatible with Vista.

If that sounds all to horrible, there is a small consolation...
Even so, dear Microsoft hasn't totally forgotten us. Some sort of compatibility will be available through a software layer (probably some emulation) which will have its price in system resources, as it will run much slower. The good news is that DirectX 10 will relieve some of the burden on the CPU.