Thursday, January 31, 2008

God damn it.

This is probably obvious to the rest of the world, but I'd just like to point out that if you can't get the contents of the can of tomato paste to enter the curry properly, the method of turning the can upside down and going hard is a poor, poor idea.
I think it would be easier to list the places I haven't got chicken tikka marsala splashed at the moment.  ~X-(


I think I'm going to be sick.  And that's saying something.

Cause and effect at work

The cause first...,24897,23131363-15306,00.html

And now the effect:

How Windows says "pwned"....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What were people thinking?

A couple of questions that struck me this morning…..
(a) why is Toorak Rd so narrow?  It should have dedicated parking lanes and two transit lanes in both directions.  Get stuck behind a tram and you're screwed.
(b) why the hell is is 40km/h for a good chunk if its length?  If it congests then the speeds are self limiting, and if it's not then why do we need 40km/h limits?
I just did a cannonball run up the road towards St Kilda with about 10 other people at around 65km/h for most of the run from the Monash freeway to St Kilda Rd (safety from cops in numbers…) and I honestly can't see any reason for it, unless they are deliberately attempting to steer people away from it by pissing them off with low speeds!
Mind you, the solution to that is to stop charging $5 for the goddamn Citylink run from Toorak Rd into the city….  Complete ripoff.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why I love people

Deliberately got the early bus today, as I had to pick up some dry cleaning on the way to the train station.
As usual, the bus was about 5 minutes late.  It struck me that if the bus is 5 minutes late every day.... how hard would it be to leave 5 minutes EARLIER and be on freaking time?  That way, the bus which is *supposed* to connect up with the train timetables, might arrive at the train station in time for travellers to actually get on the train, as opposed to watch it pull away from the station - while you're still sitting on the bus.
Anyway - get to station, move self smartly up the street to the dry cleaners.
Dry cleaner announces he only takes cash.  Brilliant.  Everyone else in the world has an EFTPOS machine except for the local smarmy Greek dry cleaner, who is not doubt too cheap to pay for one and uses his cash business as a way of cheating the tax system.  Outstanding.
Move self smartly down street to Westpac bank, to discover that some little prick has adjusted the ATM with a hammer over night.  Awesome.  Attempt to enter bank, only to be told that their data lines are down and they are off the air.  Truly exceptional.
Move self fairly enthusiatically indeed down the street to the competition bank (about 500m the way I already came originally), use their ATM to withdrawn cash, no doubt incurring a ruinous cross-institutional fee in the process.
Collect kit from dry cleaner (first and last time you'll see me, drag your arse into the latter half of the 20th century - if not the 21st - and get a goddam EFTPOS machine) and hustle very quickly indeed back down to the station.
Sling dry cleaning in the vehicle that loving partner has dropped their earlier and turn around - just in time to see the train leave, thus relegating me to a 25 minute wait.  FUCKING BRILLIANT.
The fact that I apparently missed the tram at the other end by 30 seconds and had to wait 10 minutes for another one is a minor annoyance by comparison.
And people wonder why I arrive at work in a mad mood... dealing with society in generally means I'm damn near homicidal before I hit the front door, and that's BEFORE idiot colleagues start asking idiot questions...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Patience NOW DAMMIT.

Woohoo, looks like the real cams of Cloverfield are out!  DLing one now, but I'm definitely going to be hanging out for the screener when someone releases it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ultimate beer ad

OK, I give up....

For now with Cloverfield.  The entire net seems to be awash with assorted fakes, most of which are the original 4-minute trailer packed out to 900Mb or so, or the DRM-riddled Domplayer crap which is probably a fake anyway - if I was stupid enough to either pay for or install the spyware to find out, which I am not.
I'll give it a week and check again, although I did get one thing out of the search - new site:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Customer service

Hey, I've got a better idea!  How about I hang up on you and close your fucking ticket because you refused to troubleshoot with the nice techie?  I bet I can close 'em a LOT faster than you can get them opened - at 30 minutes in queue each time - AND I can deescalate tickets that I deem to be crapworthy.
You get a supervisor when ** I ** say you need one, not when you want one just because you think it will get you faster service.

The really sad this is that some people are reading this and taking the advice...

Three fonts that everyone should have in their library


My christ some people are stupid....

What ever happened to the concept of NOT ENTERING A BOX JUNCTION UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EXIT?!?!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Worth a read

I finally re-located this, it's worth the 10 minutes of your time to read.  And cringe.

I'm annoyed

Come on, guys.... 24 hours since the global release of Cloverfield and not ONE torrent of the thing yet??  Get it together!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Steampunk watercooling

Very Jules Verne...
Don't expect to be able to read the text, but the pics are multi-lingual.  :)

Just got this in my e-mail.... if it's not true then I believe it anyway.

Mind you, it looks like the normal urban-myth chain letter, particularly when the comments refer to a US-style "credit bureau", but the address has been doctored to reflect an Australian location.  funny though.  :)
Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die! This is so priceless and so easy to see happening - customer service, being what it is today!

A lady died this past October, and ANZ bank billed her for November and December for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00, now is somewhere around $60.00.

A family member placed a call to the ANZ Bank:

Family Member:
'I am calling to tell you that she died in October.'

'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member:
'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member:
So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

'Either report her account to the fraud division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member:
'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

'Excuse me?'

Family Member:
'Did you just get what I was telling you . . . The part about her being dead?'

'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:
Family Member:
'I'm calling to tell you, she died in October.'

'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member:
'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

(Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member:
'No, I'm her great nephew.'
(Lawyer info given)

'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member:
(fax number is given)

After they get the fax:

'Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I
can do to help.'

Family Member:
'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care.'

'Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.'

Family Member:
'Would you like her new billing address?'

'That might help.'

Family Member:
' Rookwood Memorial Cemetery, 1249 Centenary Rd, Sydney Plot Number 1049.'

'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member:
'Well, what the **** do you do with dead people on your planet?'

Just some random cool tech stuff I ran across

Some of the coolest research and science facilities in the world.  Nice pics.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More rant than tech

If anyone living in Melbourne is reading this, I suggest in the strongest possible terms that you avoid using AGL for your energy supplier.
While I've never been an AGL customer, I have recently had the occasion to interact more times than I really wished to with their thick-as-pigshit staff, and I can't say that I'd be entirely comfortable relying on them as a vendor for personal use.
Ever since we moved into the house we are currently renting, we've been receiving accounts addressed to "The Occupier" for just short of $800 worth of gas.  What company sends accounts to "The Occupier?"  Are they not sure of the actual name of their customer, or were they just hoping that someone would pay it on spec?
I've rung their call centre a few times and told them that the miscreant has long since departed, and would they please stop sending bills.  Their answer is to return them - how, I ask?  The envelope has been opened (as I'm legally allowed to do, I'm the current Occupier of the property) and I'm certainly not paying to package it up and send it back.  Just make an entry in your database to stop sending the things, there's no-one here who is going to pay them.
So far I've had this conversation three times (admittedly the last was for personal amusement when I was both bored and in a bad mood and felt like screaming at someone for a while - sorry, AGL call centre CSR) but the fact remains that they are bloody stupid and ignorant.
In all honesty, the only reason I even called is that I don't want there to be any chance of them cutting power/gas to the property themselves, but since like all the other 'suppliers' out there they are just a profit-sucking reseller who adds no value whatsoever, it seems unlikely that this will end up being an issue.
You should see some of the *other* mail for the assorted previous tenants... I'm surprised we haven't had the Sheriff's Office (apparently the Victorian version of what everyone else in the world calls bailiffs) around so far....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

USB devices and general instability

I've noticed of late that with the general proliferation of USB devices in the world, the average PC is becoming steadily less stable with multiple deivces connected.

Particularly annoying is Windows' habit of permanently associating a certain device with a drive letter, instead of next-available assignment, which is a monumental pain in the arse if you have a PC with a lot of network drives mapped in (or local drives, at that). It also make connecting multiple devices simultaneously irritating.

The entire interface bus has also never lived up to its bandwidth claims, especially when a large proportion of the USB devices on the market can't sustain the required bandwidth themselves. I never used to think there was much difference between USB thumbdrives until I got hold of some quick Sandisk and Transcend drives... WOW. I now refuse to use the cheap ones, the frustration factor and wait time isn't worth it.

I noticed a couple of posts about the upcoming USB3 standard recently, I can only hope that the technology and the devices that use it are superior to the often-disappointing USB2.

There was also some talk about the new optical USB standard:

However I can't see how this can work with a passive device, unless the socket itself has a +DC rail in there somewhere to complement the earthed shield and power the device itself.

I also some some talk about WUSB but frankly I don't think it's a killer app unless it's totally PnP, has a wireless bubble big enough to allow flexibility but small enough to allow the creation of non-interfering piconets, and has enough bandwidth to do the job.

Personally, I'd prefer it if the industry got their collective fingers out and finall developed some sort of universal power and charging standard.... and I don't mean this sort of abortion:

How hard can it be to develop a simple universal standard, preferably using an inductive coupling system? The Wildcharge system is definitely a second-class hack, and still uses metallic coupling. The Splashpower system isn't perfect either by a long shot, but it's a long way closer to the holy grail of universal inductive charging.

Get it together, guys. Why can't the IEEE put together a standard for this that everyone can use? Even USB, for all of its quirks and deficiencies, works most of the time....