Tram Town
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Category: Banks
I've just been down to my local servo to get a tank full and, having paid by EFT with my savings account, had the experience of having to wait for the "MERCHANT COPY" to print before the "CUSTOMER COPY". It takes a few seconds but, presumably, at least tens of thousands of these transactions are wasting people's seconds daily. It has been twenty five years since I completed my computer science degree and the state of the art may have changed since then but I would have thought that an IF statement in the software inside the pinpad would have been sufficient to reverse the printing order if the account was not credit??? They can't be strapped for memory in this day and age, surely. I would have thought you could program all of the functionality of those things including the RSA and DES stuff in a few K of tight machine code.

Monday, February 27, 2006
Category: Advertising
Some of you may have seen the recent Apple ad about how they're moving to Intel chips. It looks something like this but not exactly the same.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Category: RDC
Bugger, can't seem to do my normal smarmy summary. Vale Don Knotts.

Saturday, February 25, 2006
Category: Discrimination
We don't much like your sort 'round these here parts so just mosey on along!

Category: Telly
Worth the watch, an interesting doco (made as part of a film festival) about early space travel. Here's an interview with one of the directors.

Category: Energy
Over at Tech Central Station there is a review of James Lovlock's latest book, The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back - and How We Can Still Save Humanity. As the Wikipedia states:
James Ephraim Lovelock (born July 26, 1919), FRS, is an independent scientist, author, researcher and environmentalist who lives in Cornwall, in the south west of Great Britain. He is most famous for proposing and popularizing the Gaia hypothesis, in which he postulates that the Earth functions as a kind of superorganism (a term coined by Lynn Margulis).
According to the review...
he lays out his argument for nuclear power in more detail, as well as providing a biting insider's critique of the Green movement he has done so much to inspire, arguing "they must drop their wrong-headed objection to nuclear energy"
Mind, I doubt that I'll be buying the book, it's a bit doom and gloomish for my liking...
Lovelock argues that Gaia is in mortal danger because humankind has, in the last few decades, "ceased to be just another animal and begun the demolition of the earth" through the use of fossil fuels. He takes the grimmest possible view of global warming. He warns that if we continue business as usual, civilization will suffer catastrophic collapse. "Humans are tough enough for breeding pairs to survive", he says, but only a few in isolation in remote areas.

Friday, February 24, 2006
Category: tupidity
Here's a great story about some academics who have lost, amongst other things such as their marbles, their S key. It's a good read about grading, Jack.

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Category: Jurisprudence(sp?)
This article was obliquely referred to in this morning's "Green" in the TTT. (Second one down was my intended)

Category: Lego
There seems to be an interesting trend in slightly evil Legos.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Category: Nukular
Over at Tech Central Station, Glenn Reynolds talks about the nuclear option for energy. Well worth a read [are you there, Jack?].

Monday, February 20, 2006
Category: Culture
Hoover loves Lucy. I really liked that show too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Category: TV
And the award for the best reality show goes to [drum roll]...
The Real Gilligan's Island

Friday, February 17, 2006
Category: Apple
I don't reckon they've changed much in 30 years, the original Macs had all of the folks who worked on the project signatures etched into the case.

Category: Arkatecha
Why wasn't the Ettamogah pub included in that list that you just pointed at, DB?

Category: Arithmetic
What is twice 50 %?
Answer 1: 100%
Answer 2: 25%
Is 50% a value or a function?
What say you, Jack?

Category: Architecture
Some interesting buildings.

Category: Katrina
We haven't seen much in the way of corrections for beat ups in the MSM during the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina. We do, however, now have this fine article in Popular Mechanics debunking many of the myths.

Category: Money
It's good to see a bit of basic arithmetic being done by journos but a little more detail would have been helpful in this article in the Hun.
AN information hotline on the Government's IR changes has cost taxpayers about $80 a call.
The phone service, which also copped a barrage of complaints, cost nearly $4 million to November last year.
It received 48,000 calls.
That's it! The entire article. Which government? We do, after all, have three levels to choose from. Is there more information in the dead tree version?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Category: Guvamint
The subbies have done a magnificent job titling an article about the state government's sale of its share of the Snowy Hydro: Bracksy of the overflow. Not very surprising is the fact that well before the ink has gone on to the paper, and certainly before it's dry, they've worked out how they're going to spend the money. They are quite effective at the spending caper this lot!

Saturday, February 11, 2006
Category: Music (C'nW)
Umm, I think I disagree with bits of this, Semi might disagree with me, your mileage will vary. I quite liked the Cash 60's/70's stuff (I am however currently on a major Mamas & Papas thang).

Category: Health
Barry Groves, PhD (nutrition), runs a site called Second Opinions. It includes a long article called The Cholesterol Myth and one on salt and blood pressure. All very contrarian but worth a read.

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Category: Scientists
As in: way too many of them in this world.
Tim Blair has a story that links global warming with frog extinction and pregnancy tests. One commenter says:
So frogs are croaking and it’s global warming’s fault?
Further in the whole scientists thing, Evil Pundit has a photo essay entitled Pigs will fly!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Category: Academia
I wouldn't even want to work in academia. It's a good thing I'm not welcome. After all, as a white, heterosexual male, I couldn't be more guilty if I'd done something wrong. The Bolta often has an "on fire" article after returning from a break. This is this year's one.

Category: Indirection
What can we say about a cartoon that contains a depiction of a depiction of "the prophet"?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Category: Cartoons
To quote Otter in Animal House:
I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
So I bought a six-pack of Carlsberg (Danish beer) as an act of solidarity. Get this, though, on the label:
Brewed and Bottled under licence from Carlsberg Breweries Ltd, Copenhagen, Denmark by Independent Breweries (AUST) Pty Ltd
I don't know who Independent Breweries (AUST) are but they say they are from Laverton. Presumably the Danes are going to pick up cents per stubby. Nevermind, it just reinforces the "really futile and stupid" requirement.

BTW the scene that the quote came from also includes Bluto's classic:
Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Animal House is up there in my top ten all time favourite pitchers.

UPDATE: I tried the beer and, while it is pretty inoffensive, I didn't like it much. My current beer-of-choice is Pure Blonde but I wish it came in cans; I just toted my recycling bin out and it was bloody heavy!

Oh, and also, why was "Bottled" capitalised on the label? Is that some sort of scare-quotes sort of thing?

Category: Web
Edward Mandla, writing for the TTT, points out what Semi and I have known for several years -- get a decent web presence or lose customers!

Category: Politics
Good news! The minister for homework brochures and painting trees blue is likely to become the minister for absolutely nothing.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Category: Cartoons
Back in mid January, TramTown posted one of the cartoons that have so angered the POMEAs (people of middle eastern appearance). Tim Blair has posted ALL of them and the comments that followed are quite enlightening. In particular, "Margos Maid" has this to say:
I am with the sheik on this one. Anyone who suggests that Islam is anything but a religion of peace deserves whatever rioting or burning of buildings comes their way.
I just hope they're not running out of raisins in heaven.
Meanwhile, over at ReteCool a whole bunch of people are having a go (not for those easily offended - use your judgement). I wish I could read dutch.

Category: Jobs
Roving Rock-Star Tech Guy -- hmmm, nice job.

Category: Legal
Apple's sinister plot to deafen our children. Evil Fruit Company! They should be ashamed -- I'll yell at my kids when I get home to make sure they can hear me and I reckon that Semi should do the same. (meant to post last week, sorry)

Friday, February 03, 2006

This is the Carlton Hotel in Bourke Street. My phone takes a poor picture and what you can't see is a red "Closed" sign in the glass door. This is an awful shame as it was one of the few truly grubby establishments within walking distance of the GPO. I seriously doubt that it is closed for renovations, why would you renovate such a classic?

Category: Science
This is one of those "We have way too many scientists in this world" stories:
WOMEN thinking of becoming pregnant have been urged to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D, as findings suggest deficiency in pregnancy may cause the baby to develop schizophrenia in later life.
and get this
Lead researcher Darryl Eyles, of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, said that because the latest results were based on work on rats, a link between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia in humans remained to be proved. "However, there are compelling indicators that women considering becoming pregnant should ensure they have moderate exposure to sunlight, or supplement their diets with vitamin D-fortified dairy products before they conceive," he said.
In my mind's eye I am seeing rats exhibiting schizophrenic behaviour as they run around mazes pining for the tropics.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Category: Science
MythBusters takes on Star Wars. (umm, I haven't read it yet so my summation may be flawed -- looks interesting but)

Category: Fillums (and some other stuff)
Steve Jobs bought what became Pixar from George Lucas' ILM. He then found the best people he could to make animated fillums. He then got Disney to buy their next 6-8 fillums which were quite succesful. When the deal expired SJ shopped around for someone else to partner with. Part of the falling out was Toy Story 3 which Disney really wanted to make and Pixar thought it was past it's 'legs'. Disney got the rights to do it "in-house" and had made some progress.
(Cut to the chase) In the final wash -- Disney bought Pixar; Jobs is now the biggest shareholder of the Walt Corporation; His and Lasseters first task was to axe TS3!
The whole story is much more fascinating and I haven't done it justice. I suggest that you all do further research if you're interested.
My friend Garry has some opinions. FWIW

Category: DIY
This site looks interesting. I especially liked the article about building spaceships from Aspirin bottles. When Semi and I make our seminal science fiction film we'll have to keep this in mind.

Category: Political Correctness
One of the 'net's greates writers, James Lileks, makes some powerful observations about words, here. Amongst them:
So apparently the “Men” and “Women” sign on lavatory doors will be the new “Whites” and “Coloreds.” It’s a parallel world, these places, but they’re also a preview of coming attractions. Not that Wal-Marts in Oklahoma will have bathrooms next year whose doors say “YOUR CALL.”

Category: Podcasts
I heartily recommend a listen to Glenn and Doctor Helen's podcast which can be found on Glenn's Instapundit site.
More podcast recommendations will follow.

Powered by Blogger