Tram Town
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Category: Internet
This mention of clue-by-four is simply an attempt to attract the attention of the nutter who doesn't want it here.

Category: Politics
Andrew Bolt brazenly suggests that artists might be out of touch.

Saturday, June 28, 2003
Category: Audio
Audio Technology Magazine which doesn't have a website does have a regular contributor called Mike Stavrou. He suggested using a small omnidirectional lapel mike held in the palm of a guitarist's picking hand for recording acoustic guitar. We got one. It worked. Your mileage may vary. You will probably have to change the plug to get it into a pre-amp but it is well worth the effort. The article is in the latest issue, number 26, Oz and NZ only.

Category: Audio
Vintage, hot rod microphonescustomized and hand-crafted by Doctor Mikenstein!

Friday, June 27, 2003
Category: Humour
Oops, not our fault I hope, but it looks like Faux News is in a spot of bother.

Category: Audio
Publison is a French digital audio company with a fascinating history. Apparently the artist formally known as Prince was very keen on their products. I had never heard of these boxes... ignorant fool!

UPDATE: Apparently they sold one of their 1985 IM90's to Walt Disney. I hope it operates in extreme temperature conditions!

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Category: Technology
Here's what I've been after for a while. An advantageous identification method.

Cateogry: Humour
Fox Faux News is a very funny idea until you try to find the humour. The site declares Dubya to be a moron.

I just love the Faux News (we distort, you comply) and PNN (Pentagon News Network) logos, though.

Category: Education
Slatts really putting the boots into the chalkies. The problem was eventually solved by moving the funeral to next Monday - during the school holidays. In the words of Kylie Mole: "Ohh sir duh!".

Category: Audio
I've got a Tascam US428 (nice blue!) which I love and I'd kind of like to have a US224 for portability's sake... until I saw this. Look at that puppy... phantom power, inserts on both channels, sensible monitoring alternatives, USB powered, 24 bit. The only real letdown is no S/PDIF ins and outs. And it probably works pretty well too because the software will be very similar to the 428 and 224, hence no teething problems.

And then there's this... a US428 on 1,394 steroids. 100mm motorised faders!!! 8 in, 8 out, the list goes on and on. It's like a way cheaper DIGI-002 that will work with just about any software.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Category: Audio
The SoundBlaster MP3+ would be a very interesting device if the quality was good enough. With a name like MP3+ you'd have to be doubtful, but I'm surprised how good the Audigy stuff is considering the SBLive line was so bloody noisy that you could only guess at the quality of the converters. I was thinking of using it for a budget effects loop.

Category: Economics
While watching that dangerous anti-intellectual Helen Caldicott on Denton's Pile of Shite Enough Rope and hearing of her doomsday predictions 25 years ago, I was reminded of Paul Ehrlich's wager with Julian Simon. I went looking for stuff and found a terrific obit for Julian Simon from 1988.

Also this site about so-called overpopulation with this page about the wager.

Category: Music
Amongst the many fine products at Dont Quit your Day Job Records is Auntie Poo & the Porta-Potties: "Potty Animal".

Category: Music
Hmmm... this mob looks interesting. The concert this Thursday looks like an absolute cracker.

Category: Technology
Ummm, it's the World's Fastest Personal Computer or is it?

Category: Science
The Energy Advocate is a monthly newsletter edited by Dr Howard C. Hayden. The website is mainly spruiking for subscriptions but it does have a lot of useful information. For example, this page about relative fuel densities of batteries compared to petrol is very interesting.

BTW You may have to go to an Australian dictionary to find spruik. I suggest the Macquarie Book of Etymological Hearsay.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Category: Humor
Dave Barry's Blog is quite a bit of fun. Note particularly:
For all of you who have been longing for a product that will make a hot dog look like an octopus, your wait is over at last.

Sunday, June 22, 2003
Category: littature
We went to one of the countless Harry Potter book launches at Hideous Federation Square yesterday. We didn't buy because: I can get it much cheaper elsewhere, I don't want a hardback, and I don't stand in queues for anything. Tim Blair points to a Mark Steyn article that pretty much tells me the story anyway.

Also, we had a couple of rides on D-class trams which are now abundant on the Swanston street routes.

Category: Politics
The death of Billy Wentworth has prompted a really interesting article by Michael Duffy in the Daily Telegraph.

Friday, June 20, 2003
Category: Technology
When I was a kid I always wanted to send off to America to get a set of X-Ray-Specs, featured in back page advertisements in the "better" comics of the day. They would allow you to see through clothing but not, apparently, see through flesh! Ummm, I wanted them for some research I was doing at the time. I guess that this is the industrial equivalent these days.

Category: Audio
If you like music and you have a Mac you might like musiconmac.

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Category: Recently Resurrected Celebrities
Sorry, forgot to post this last week. I just guess that I was just sucked in like a big sucked in thing. The internet is sometimes like that!

Category: Iraq
Andrew Bolt's article about infant deaths in Iraq in the 90's makes for interesting reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Category: Blogging
Definitely the best name for a blog that I have seen: Amish Tech Support. Oh, and by the way, it has a nice Dowdification of Bill O'Reilly's idiotic article.

Category: Media
Bill O'Reilly is right wing television man on the FoxNews Channel. When I say right wing I mean right wing in the single-issue, brain-dead mould of Alan Jones. He and Jones see no complexity in the world, all that exists are their own opinions and the pedophiles and terrorists who disagree with them. They are a stain on the word "right".

I will admit to quite liking him when I first saw him but, as time passed, I realised that he really was that shallow and stupid to boot.

Feisty Michele over at A Small Victory has felled O'Reilly with one mock blog post, beautiful! Michele also points at a whole bunch of other, mostly (unstained) right, bloggers tearing him down. This morning I love the internet!

UPDATE: This is the original O'Reilly memo that sparked all of this. And Rand Simberg in support of O'Reilly? Hint - read it right through. O'Reilly is effectively claiming that you can have too much free speech. Whilst I agree that some restraint is important, particularly in posting to the appropriate forum, too much free speech is a bit hard to swallow.

UPDATE UPDATE: Another list of O'Reilly dissing links.

Category: Economics
In Melbourne, we remember a time when S11 meant a bunch of misled schoolchildren and useless stoners protesting against the World Economic Forum in 2000, often with specific reference to Nike. Strangely, it was the biggest business day ever for several of the nearby McDonalds and a decent proportion of the schoolchildren were wearing Nikes. I was sitting in a tower watching the stock market on my Taiwanese computer. I always thought this would happen to Nike's third world workers. I'm very happy for the Vietnamese Nike workers that it has. (found while reading Tim Blair)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Category: Fillums
I watched a Zoetrope movie yesterday called Hammett. I enjoyed it and I was going to give it 7.5 but, having discovered it to be 21 years old, I decided to upgrade that to 8.5. There was a lovely quote on Samuel Dashiel Hammett somewhere... I'm paraphrasing and I think it was Raymond Chandler: "Hammett took murder out of the vicar's rose garden and put it back into the hands of the people who do it well".

Monday, June 16, 2003
Category: Technology
Do you ever feel like you've been Powerpointed?

And then I discover Brainy Betty who is so brainy that her observation that Amazon has over a thousand Powerpoint books convinces her to develop her own.

Powerpoint 2003 - Just Say NO!

Sunday, June 15, 2003
Category: Linguistics
A site that tries to geographically nail some quirky language usage in the US. I've spent the last half hour there. Sad really. Found it through memepool, again!

Category: Audio
Funk Logic have some RNC accessories that might prove quite useful in a studio. They also have some other "stuff".

As a matter of interest, are FMR Audio still shipping product? Did the RNP really make it out the door? Their website seems to indicate that the world ended in October last year. Humbucker do have them for sale so maybe it's just a web thing not happening at FMR.

Saturday, June 14, 2003
Category: Science
Bad news! Penis enlargement pills don't really work.

Category: Bacon
Classic Bacon!

Category: Science (?)
A Politically Correct Periodic Table of the Elements. Available as a mousepad!

Category: Cryptozoology
Read the fascinating story of attempted homewrecker Oliver the humanzee. Also from Rachel Lucas.

Category: Technology
Dubya fell off a Segway. To quote Rachel Lucas: "I guess that means Bush really is a retarded monkey".

Friday, June 13, 2003
Category: Terrorism
While we should be aware of the natural bias, this is a teriffic resource during newspaper reading (what the !$* is, for example, Jaish-e-Mohammed?). I have omitted a link to the page on Jaish-e-Mohammed because of a request on the front page. If you can't find Jaish-e-Mohammed following links from the front page you should not be in charge of a mouse.

Here's another.

I recognise any such site has its biases (this for example) but all sources of information are useful, IMNSHO.

Category: Jingoism
Jeez we're beaut!

Category: Computers
I've found my next PC case! Some pretty Flash stuff here, too.

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Category: Guardian
While researching the previous post, I came across Guardianlies.com. By jeez, this is gonna take some reading time. Tomorrow morning is out for our coffee appointment, Brenda!

Category: Islandos Malvinos
I am currently reading a television play commissioned by the BBC around 20 years ago called The Falklands Play. It was initially difficult for the playwright, Ian Curteis, to research as many of the key players refused to deal with a "man from the BBC" because of perceived failings in the Beeb's coverage of the Falklands war. Eventually, research complete, Curteis produced a fourth draft in April 1986 and production was ready to commence with shooting pencilled in for January and February 1987. In the intervening months, production was cancelled, some say it was political, some say the play was utter rubbish. Last year, the twentieth anniversary of the Falklands, the play finally appeared on the BBC's barely watched Digital BBC4. Near as I can tell, it also appeared on Radio 4. I wonder how Beebwatch and Biased BBC would have covered this story in 1986 had they been around.

Has this play been broadcast in Australia? I would love to see it. For mine, it reads quite well but I am not providing the production costs.

I hope this isn't all old news to Tram Town readers. I was certainly not a BBC follower back in the 80's and I did not take any Brit newspapers so I knew nothing of it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Category: Paranoia
Again from a friend who really should be blogging here:

In a song called Color TV Blues, Don McLean made the off-hand remark "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you". Go see the Echelon site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Category: Web
This is interesting if you're into blog cross-referencing! And aren't we all?

Category: Engineering
At the risk of being accused of being a lazy blogger (too late...), I point again at something I found on memepool (all medium, no message). I am green with envy at Bruce Simpson's work.

Category: Filums
Apple has been doing it for years but now it seems that Gateway is getting into the act.

Category: Technology
iLifefor Windows?

Category: Audio
From a friend (who might like to become a poster here at TramTown?):

1. This is a hardware reference site. The connnectors section is particularly good for working out just what that pin does on that interface you're looking at. [This will become a frequently referenced standard - Semi]

2. This site has a number of DIY MIDI processing boxes on it. For doing all sorts of control applications. [Very interesting but I'm still not much chop in charge of a hot rod - Semi]

Monday, June 09, 2003
Category: Iraq
Bargarz pointed me at a terrific and at times disturbing article by Mark Steyn from about a week ago. I couldn't find any pithy quotes, you need to read the whole thing. It's mainly about how things are not bad enough to warrant letting the UN and NGO's loose on the poor locals. Just read it!

Category: Technology
Quite a fascinating look behind the scenes at Apples online music store.

Sunday, June 08, 2003
Category: Humour
DB often talks about recently dead celebrities. The BBC has a special news category for recently departed objects (note right-hand side of the page).

Category: Politics
From a friend:

Kim intends to speak more plainly. Obviously he means to start after this.

"We need simplicity in the way we put those things across," he said. "I have learnt over the course of the last 18 months that simplicity is one of those things I need to carry around with me as a talisman and so I would."

Category: Knitting

Saturday, June 07, 2003
Category: Ordnance
Rachel Lucas pointed me at Gunfacts. It would be pretty handy if you were a detective novel writer.

Category: Software
Dan Bricklin's website has some magnificent historical stuff about spreadsheets, in particular, VisiCalc. It also has stuff about software patents and Segways. I'm not going to point at individual pages, just wander about the site, it's a veritable smorgasbord of great reading.

Friday, June 06, 2003
Category: Weird
There really is something quite obscene about this.

Category: Blogging
I'm posting this using w.bloggar which was referred to me by Fred Langa of Langalist fame. Both w.bloggar and the Langalist come highly recommended.

Category: PDAs
Palm buys Handspring. I'm personally not going to buy another one of these puppies until they can lower their repair costs.

Category: Music
How to make a Hurdy Gurdy for under $20.

How to spend 110 times that to buy one.

Category: Technology
I'm sure glad that I'm not a chicken. Thanks/..

Thursday, June 05, 2003
Category: Trams
A while ago, I suggested only two cities have more trams than Melbourne. Now I am looking at Prague and I am not so sure. I've gotta find how much kilometrage of track is dedicated to trams. This is very useful research.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Has Bill Joy go completely mad? His techno-fear reminds me a bit of Damien Broderick's The Spike. Neither of them seems to be tempered by the effect raw economics has on their mad theories.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Category: AI
Artificial Intelligence and expert systems have been a big disappointment to some people. The Cyc project would suggest that it might just be a matter of scale.

Category: Melbourne (and a few other places)
The famous Melways is available free online.

Category: Addressing
This is pretty Interesting. I just wish that Microsoft wasn't involved.

Category: Trams
It appears that ticket inspectors have no right to demand to see your tram ticket when you are walking down the street.

Monday, June 02, 2003
Category: Words
1026 News Radio (which is a great service available when parliament is not sitting - ABC logic!) pointed me at Word Spy. Great fun!

News radio is the best news service on the ABC. FULLSTOP. If it is worth having it is worth having 24 x 7. FULLSTOP. All local parliaments should be broadcast on dedicated frequencies. FULLSTOP.

Category: Culture
Promise myself cry I would not .

Category: Technology
Some people have WAAAYY too much time on their hands.

Category: Recently Dead Celebrities
Very Sad News.

Sunday, June 01, 2003
Category: Web
The folks at b3ta really do love the internet. This week's newsletter pointed me at a 13.8Mb movie from Japan. Obviously only for those of us with reasonably fast connections. I'm not sure if it's funny or not but I sure laughed.

Category: Art
I mean, get real! I personally own a very stupid dog, a very clever cat and a very boring guniea pig (which I can NEVER spell right, OK, Hamster) but I'd never go this far.

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