Sunday, July 26, 2015

New strings

Restrung the new Hoyt today.  Cliche red and black, blow me.  All BCY X material with 30lb spectra serving, which comes out at 0.107" - almost bang on the perfect 0.105" OD for the recommended 24 strands. Sits well down into the cam grooves.

I'm currently waiting on a set of Baker Archery Products string clamps which will allow me to serve a little tighter, which will let me hit the perfect 0.105" OD, and possibly also do so with 40lb serving which will give a little more wear resistance too.  At the moment I'm "limited" by serving at 300lb of tension (which is kind of scary to have 18" from your face, believe me) but I still have to use the flag method of checking serving tension to make sure I'm not going to cause peep rotation later. The clamps will allow me to hold about a 12" section of string torsionally and serve as tight as I like, so I get a smoother finish and the final diameter I like.

Once I've got these, I'll be happy to start offering restringing on a garage-commercial basis, because I *know* I can crank out something to compete with the best in the industry worldwide.

Next challenge: multi-layer pinstriping.  I mean seriously, how off-scale do these look??

Oneida go BOOM

One of my clubmates had an interesting afternoon today. Let go clean through the grip valley approaching 50lb full draw, no warning in previous shots. Bow is about 2 years old, never dry fired or dropped, always well looked after.  It's only been in the press of the local dealer, and while I don't have much confidence in them, at least they can't claim abuse as a result.

The archer is OK apart from a pinch to the webbing of his bowhand, and a change of shorts required.  The dealer has advised they will process as a warranty claim.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

From the "well, duh" files

The Apple watch has apparently flopped initially, after worldwide sales have been in the order of 3 million units.

Apple are apparently sufficiently embarrassed about this that they have carefully omitted the sales figures from its latest financials, and tried to justify this by claiming that "the information could be used by competitors".

Yeah, that's a major concern - Apple's competitors might stop making the bloody things if they realised they're basically a gadget looking frantically for a justification for their very expensive, fragile, inconvenient and functionality-free existence.

Seriously, guys - the things are $500 minimum for the basic model, and they don't do anything useful!  The screen is too small to actually interact with, and the remote functions for messages/phone etc are analogous to the remote controls you used to be able to get for car stereos - you know, so you didn't have to reach 18" to the stereo itself.

The sole use I can think of for the things is turn by turn navigation, and since you've already got to have the iPhone to use them, it's $500 to make a little arrow appear on your wrist.

Sorry guys, if they were $100 I'd have one.  At $500 for a device that's not waterproof and is yet another goddamn gadget I have to charge, it's a loser.


I also see the media is gushing about a new report from the Department of Communications showing we're a nation of scurvy pirates.

Of the people who do consume media illegally, the survey found they would likely stop infringing if legal content was: cheaper (39 per cent), more available (38 per cent), and had the same release date as other countries (36 per cent).

Wow, what a surprise!  So in other words, what would stop us pirating media would be that it was available to purchase at a reasonable price!  Who would have thunk it?

But perhaps the most telling part is how even the government acknowledges how out of touch rights holders are in combating piracy, noting that, “rights holders’ most powerful tool to combat online copyright infringement is making content accessible, timely and affordable to consumers”. 

Something rights holders seem hell bent on not doing.

Of course not, because the industry is run by a set of old men who probably wear ties to bed, who are so used to their business model of being able to skin pretty much whatever they want out of the sheep consumer, that they don't want to give that up.  They'd prefer to deny the reality that technology has given people the ability to tell the industry to jam the pricing up their cardigan, and just steal their product with relative impunity.

I know that personally my VPN has it looking like I'm in Sweden via a provider that keeps no logs, and I've now abandoned torrents for Usenet - no tracker, so no Maverickeye spying, and the Usenet provider doesn't keep logs either.

That's not a bulletproof solution, but it doesn't have to be.  It just has to be adequate to meet the need, and the industry is too happy picking low hanging fruit to bother about anyone taking any sort of precautions against these clowns.

The industry might also need a fresh pair of pants after reading the numbers on this article.  MPAA, meet HORNET - TOR on steroids and Red Bull.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New bow day!

2012 Contender GTX, got the rotating cam mods, current model limb pockets and graphics.

Needs a new set of strings but I think I can arrange that, red/black with black serving I think.  Or perhaps black/silver.  Other than that, not really a mark on it.

Need to decide on a name.... the current stable is Dark Knight, Twilight Zone and The Beast.  I'm thinking Erebus, since the colour scheme will be (apart from the string contrasts) pretty much be black with black labelling on a black background with black highlights edged in black.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bloody weather

Made the possibly tactically poor move to wash the car yesterday evening.  Walked outside to go to work at 6:30am to discover probably the coldest morning I have seen yet in Melbourne, -2°.

Minor problem getting into the car, because the door rubbers were frozen together.  Fixed with hose, along with a windscreen that I could theoretically see out of.  However, I soon discovered that the glass was so cold that it simply refroze the water, resulting in a nice slick layer of ice with a different diffractive index than the glass - the result being not being able to see crap.  And I wasn't getting back out, unlocking the garage again, and getting the hose out again either.

No worries, I'll deploy the washers and wipers.  Nope, washer lines are frozen (probably mostly the jets) and I think I tore a rubber as the right blade came off the frost.  Hmm, just have to wait for the heater box to start working, in the meantime I adopt the Mr Magoo method of driving - pull the seat right forward and then hunch down over the steering wheel so I can see out of the 1/2" wide crack at the bottom that is the sole translucent bit.  If you're having problems visualising this, image an asian driving and you should get the idea.

Got to the entrance of the estate and I need to turn right, so I'll crack the window.  No I won't, the glass is frozen into the seals.  Bugger.

It was a good few kilometres before I finally got enough heat out of the engine to defrost all of the ice off the windshield, and even then it was about a quarter still fogged in.  Never did get the rear window defrosted, the resistive heater barely made discernible lines across the glass.

Global warming my arse.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

eBook repository

Anyone like eBooks?  Stumbled across this little archive today.  Wow.

Amy does Star Wars

In your Sunday morning news, both Lucasfilm and Disney have managed to demonstrate they have absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever, because this is funny.

At least Mark isn't a member of the MIB.

On with the shoot... thanks, GQ!  Oh yeah, and Disney can go and suck my lightsaber... fair use for the purposes of parody, guys.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More liberal "thinking" around the Greek financial crisis

It's hardly unsurprising that the twittersphere is full of satire over the Greek financial crisis and bailout - your politics tend to be pretty leftist when your you're young and an idealist, and they naturally tend to shift towards conservatism when you mature enough to get a grip on reality and you've actually worked enough to have something to protect.  And to realise that maybe just giving it away to someone else in the name of socialism isn't such a great idea after all, when you're the one doing the work.

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 30, you have no brain.” - Fran├žois Guizot.

The bottom line is that while granting some relief is perhaps an acceptable idea in the name of benevolence and support, the world can't afford to just write off the $477 billion AUD Greece owes as a bad debt.  That would result in the banks and governments who own that debt taking a loss themselves, and they'd never lend Greece money again - and the reality is that they need it, because they're fucked without it.

Greek prime minister Tsipras know it too, which is why that despite all the pompous and overblown rhetoric and chest beating, he's agreed to a deal - he's got nothing to really bargain with.  Defaulting completely on the debt isn't an option when the arse is out of your pants; choices are something you get to make when you've got more than one viable option.  Something the Greek population doesn't seem to realise.

Personally I think the whole thing is going to collapse in a dirty heap before too long, because Greece isn't going to be capable of making the required changes, even if they were willing.  Apparently other people think so too, although there's some pretty confused thinking going on in the article - apparently Germany is to blame for being too economically successful?  I'm really not sure what solution the author of that little gem proposes, but it's probably some leftist idea of permanently subsidising Greece at least semi-permanently, which is another way of saying paying them to be inefficient and spend more than they earn.  Good solution, eh?.

I also heard a thoroughly naive and uniformed comment on the radio yesterday (from someone I thought better of beforehand) which was that how could we ensure that Greece actually followed through on their promises once we'd handed over the cash?  Not sure what planet this person lives on, but the IMF isn't cutting Greece a cheque for $82 billion in one go - it's a subsidy package over time, and if the

The funniest thing in the news today was this little gem from some Greek would-be commentator, who is basically providing evidence for the prosecution with her submission to the discussion.  Apparently her understanding of basic maths is right up there with Alex Tsipras's grasp of macroeconomics, because what it actually shows is that a big chunk of the country isn't doing any work at all - that's why the number of hours worked per person in work is so high!  Sorry, my dear - if your assertion is that Greeks work more hours across the board than most of the rest of the world, then your economy wouldn't be down the crapper, would it?

Yeah, I agree your former (and current) governments were crap, but only because they failed to reign in rampant government spending and handouts - and when they tried, you voted them out and put in Syriza, who "promises" to wave a wand and bring the rest of the world to heel so you could go on having arguably the world's highest per-person expenditure on a public sector workforce, along with some of the lowest efficiency too.

How's that socialism working out for you, hun?  Still got plenty of other people's money to spend?

It's not called a Greek tragedy for nothing

I suppose it's kind of inevitable that the scruffy populace are rioting in the streets, but it now looks like Greece's government can't even agree on the outcome - their deputy finance minister has resigned, and so has their economic ministry's secretary general.

In a splendid display of shambolic discord, it also looks like the Syriza coalition (who hold a 162/300 seat parliamentary majority) will actually be reliant on the opposition party to pass the required legislation, as 30 members of Syriza themselves oppose it.  I suppose a certain degree of discord was always going to be inevitable, but this is what happens when you form minority coalition governments - the recent Australian Labor government being a textbook example.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Your liberal socialist media distorted story of the day

The populist media is a bunch of left-wing hipster socialists at the best of time - it doesn't take a lot of critical reading and independent thought to determine that.

One "feature"of the liberal socialist media is that they're anti-gun, which is just another of their inconsistencies in that they don't give a crap about any other standard in society, but they need to invent this one.

Here's the latest example of their warped thinking in general on the subject.

Love the snarky little comment on the end, because they couldn't think of anything else to say on the subject:

"Since then there have been few mass shootings in Australia."

Ooh, ooh, me!  /waves hand in the air...

(1)  How many mass shootings were there before Port Arthur?  Answer:  none.

(2) If there have been "few" since, do you admit that the laws are ineffectual in removing the problem, or that laws don't solve the problem, because remarkably criminals don't obey gun control laws any more than they do any other law?

(3) Since Martin Bryant didn't have legal access to the gun he used, what is the use of passing even more laws, which will also be ignored?  Protip: try standing up in the cafe where a large part of the massacre took place and telling the shooter he can't whack you - it's illegal!

The solution to the issue is very much in line with what the NRA says - put more guns in the hands of the good guys.

Let's sell ol' Martin stand in the doorway of the cafe fumbling with a magazine trying to reload a rifle while just one patron nails him with the .357 snubby they're legally and safely carrying concealed.

Never happen though, we've had our nuts thoroughly cut in that regard, and I can't see it turning the other way in my lifetime.  But we're allowed to call 000 and ask for help - the one time I've ever had to do that I waited over an hour for some bored cop to respond.  Makes me feel very secure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On the piss

Always wondered how they got that... unique... taste into Carlton Draught?

Now we know.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece, delusional to the last

Exit polls indicate a roughly 60/40 split in favour of Greece flushing their national economy down the crapper, albeit on a paltry 50% attendance rate.  THIS IS SPARTA!!

Having effectively told their creditors they have no intention of paying their bills, of course their immediate reaction to the "mandate" was to go begging for a handout!  I honestly have no idea why the IWF and creditor countries would even given this pack of clowns the time of day, because they're the dole bludgers of Europe, and dole bludgers fundamentally aren't interested in helping themselves - they're only interested in a handout so they don't have to get off their collective arses.

Just to illustrate the size of the problem:

Ultimately, I think the European creditor nations and IMF are going to have to abandon hope of collecting all of the debt, simply due to the scale of the problem.  Even the IMF itself says that the proposed austerity package which Greece won't accept would leave them with an unsustainable debt to service by 2030, because the country is just that far in the shit.  It has pretty much no exports other than some primary production foodstuffs and tourism, so that means a permanent balance of payments option when the country won't live within its means - Greece is the national equivalent of a teenager who just left home but expects instant access to the luxuries their parents spent years earning.

The IMF estimates that Greece could possibly, just, maybe, service a debt of 110% of GDP if everything follows a sunny day scenario.  They're currently in the hole to the tune of 175% of GDP and totally dismissive of any attempt to do anything meaningful about it - their best offer was under half of what the IMF asked for.

It's been pointed out to me that Greece did write off a bloc of German debt following WWII, and although true, to me there are several significant differences which mean the reverse should not be automatically reciprocal.

For starters, Germany's debt at the time was largely the result of WWII - war expenditure, reparations, and funnily enough their economy took a bit of a hit at the time.  Blame Hitler.  Greece's debt is the result of 30 years of being a socialist handout society.  I don't see why the world should fund that.

Secondly, Germany's problem - Hitler - ceased to be an issue towards the end of WWII, whereas Greece's problems are ongoing - any writedown of debt would only be to enable them to incur new debts, at ongoingly unsustainable rates, because they won't address their root issues of excess consumption for their means.  Greece's debt is currently around $508 billon AUD and their government monthly salary and pensions bill is $2.5 billion AUD per freaking month.  The only way that's going to get solved is real, fundamental, widespread restructuring of the way that Greece does business, internally and externally, and while they have a nutjob delusional left wing government that doesn't accept reality, that's not going to happen.

Of course, there are some immediate things that Greece could do, like crack down on the level of crime, tax evasion, cash transactions and general lack of legal compliance in the economy - there is reported to be as much as $120 billion AUD in untaxed fraud hidden away.  But that won't happen, because it's easier to claim persecution and hold out the begging bowl.

What the world needs at this point is the international version of bankruptcy, where a receiver gets appointed and directs what's going to happen.  Nobody likes the outcome - creditors get far less than they are owed, and the debtor lives in penury for a few years, but at least it discharges the problem.  Theoretically, it also allows the debtor to begin again, theoretically having learned their lesson.  That won't happen in the case of Greece, because their socialist handout mentality won't allow them to succeed, but at least the creditors would be smart enough not to fund their shit next time around.

But we don't have that, so what will probably happen this week is that the IMF and the troika of creditors (whose own hardworking taxpaying voters aren't happy seeing their aid funding pissed away to dole bludgers) won't be economically or politically winning to waste further cash on a lost cause, Greece will drop the Euro and go back to their own currency (which is not without its own issues - the incompetent fuckwits can't even print money any more), the arse will go out of their exchange rate because their balance of payments will be a smoking hole in the ground, and the only good news for anyone is that holidays in Santorini will get really cheap for Europeans (the ones that work for a living).

Well done, Socialism.  Another shining success.

Darwin's law is alive and well

Hold mah beer an' watch this!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The last throes of the Greek tragedy

As I type this, it's a little before midday on Sunday in Greece, which means the Greek poll on acceptance of austerity to enable a further handout has about 7 hours to go, and we should have a fairly realistic idea of the outcome by the time Australia gets up to go to work on Monday morning.

What's funny about this is that had Greece collectively gotten off it's arse and gone to work decades ago, it wouldn't be agonising over needing a further handout now, but that's the socialist mentality for you - there's never supposed to be a shortage of someone else's money to spend.

In the meantime, in the usual display of lack of understanding and total irrelevance, the local Greek community has held a protest rally in Melbourne, because obviously that's vital to determining whether Greece is willing to admit reality and that it will have to pay its debts in order to justify another handover from Germany.  Who, perhaps unsurprisingly, have a reasonable expectation of seeing their cash back again, and who are a little dubious when the current "solution" is apparently to just write the old debt off so new debt can be incurred.

“Everyone is innocent,” said Christine Dallas. “They want to transfer loans onto the taxpayer of Greece and they come in, they take out assets and the Greeks have got nothing left."

I must e-mail the article that was taken from to the current Governor of California.  They're currently in a drought due in no small part to historical wastage of water, no doubt he'd be very interested to hear that you can just pretend the past doesn't exist because you don't want to be responsible for it now.

One man in the crowd, who gave his name as Arthur, said he had come back to Australia to escape the high unemployment in Greece and find “another job and be able to live.  A lot of people don’t have that option, they’re not Australian citizens and only have a Greek passport ... they’re doomed living in Greece.”

What are they putting in the water in Greece?  Arthur appears to have the same nonlinear view of time as Christine does.  How did Arthur get here, magic wand?  What's to stop Greeks emigrating now to somewhere where the locals haven't destroyed their national economy through systematic socialism?

What does stand out in this mess is that the current Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, is basically an idiot.  His looney left Syriza coalition was elected on the basis of rejecting austerity measures, an act which ejected the moderate conservative party from office and thus pretty much doomed Greece's economy going forward.

Since then he's engaged in a bizarre game of brinkmanship, and while high stakes poker is a game that can be won by someone brave enough to bluff a competitor, to try to do so when the game is being played cards face up on the table is ludicrous.  The dude has to choose between two impossible outcomes - accept the austerity terms of the creditors, and face the political backlash over his backflip, or determinedly drive Greece's economy right off a cliff, in which case Europe shrugs its shoulders, writes off the debt, and gets on with it.

Given that Greece basically wants the debt written off (as under Syriza it has no intention of doing anything necessary to actually repay it), it seems it would be easier and cheaper all around for Germany, the IMF and the rest of Europe to just scrub them as a basket case and stop throwing good money after bad.

Why they're having a referendum today really does boggle the mind.  They already had one a few months ago - it was their general election.  The only hope now is really that Greece decides that a week or two of real pain has shown them just how bad it can get, they vote to accept the austerity terms for another dole payment, and Tsipras and Co resign - presumably with a conservative and economically rational government elected.

We'll see tomorrow.

New router

My old Linksys E2000 router has been playing up a bit lately, giving me some funny lag and slow response from time to time, and needing to be powercycled a bit more than I think it should do.

Not quite sure what's going on, it's been fairly reliable since I flashed it with DD-WRT (the stock firmware was horribly unstable and slow) but I wonder if 4 years of more or less continuous uptime has some of the componentry starting to cook a little.

Anyway, I decided to shout myself a Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, which looks like a cross between a stealth fighter and a cyclon attack cruiser or something.

Apart from the funky diversity antennae (required for AC beamforming), it's got a twincore 1GHz processor so it's pretty much impossible to bog it down - I had a bleeding edge laptop in 2007 that was only just that fast.  Also, a couple of years ago I though Drayteks were cool for having a whole 2MB of RAM allocated for the NAT table - pretty awesome for flogging the poor thing with multiple TCP streams due to P2P, when you consider the ADSL router modems at the time generally had around 8KB for the table.

Best thing is that it's totally DD-WRT capable, and in fact Kong, the prime developer of the OS, has been using one of these as his home router for a couple of years - so you'd expect the build to be pretty stable.

Zero issues flashing it, all up and running in less than 10 minutes from opening the packet and wondering where the hell the OS image file directory was, and compared to the Linksys which simply didn't have the grunt to move more than about 67Mbps of traffic, it's quite sprightly.

The funniest thing though was the preassigned wifi details, I swear you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

But I'm extreme!

Someone sent me this video earlier today with a "isn't it horrible" sort of comment.

I watched it a few times, and to be honest, my reaction was - so what?

Yeah, the guy no doubt died.  He pretty much body slammed himself into a solid steel railing at what had to be close to the ton, and your fragile little container isn't going to take that.

But I don't think he's a hero, I don't think he's anything special for doing so, and I pretty much just think he's an idiot that's proven Darwin's Law to be correct for the umpteenth time in history.  Hold mah beer an' watch this!

What irritates me about this sort of crap is that it's apparently no longer possible to have fun unless you nearly die in the process.  So y'all pardon me if I don't really give a damn when you actually manage it, yeah?  Because apparently you were having fun at the time.

The world needs ditch diggers

It's long been said the world needs ditch diggers, floor sweepers, and real estate agents.

Here's a future floor sweeper in training.

No, my dear - you may never have a need to learn the principles of a= 1+rn to the 2nd power.  Most people won't, but you'll be more concerned with getting the broom into the corners properly, I expect.

What you fail to appreciate is that school is not, by and large, about teaching vocational skills.  It's largely about teaching people how to learn, which is a skill in of itself.  Along the way it might impart a few factoids and hopefully expose you to a range of subjects that will give you an idea of what you'd like to do your serious training in after leaving.

Nor are exams about determining what you memorised.  They're designed to get you to demonstrate what you have learned, which validates your ability to learn something else later.  Your future boss will be hiring you on the basis of your ability to learn to do the job the way he wants it, correctly and quickly.  He doesn't care about theoretical algebra any more than you do, apparently - but he cares that you've got the ability to learn.  A lot.

As for how to pay your taxes, apply for a job, mortgage your house, or buy a car - I tend to think they're life skills your parents should be teaching you, you know?  Remember, school isn't about learning skills - you'll do that later at university or trade school.  Or, in your case, in the hairdresser's diploma class at TAFE you go to at nights after you're finished with the broom.

But I'm sure that like all young people, you know everything.

Less than three hours to go

As I write this, there is a little less than three hours to go before we reach midnight GMT, and the IMF finally does what's been inevitable for the last 5 years, but hasn't wanted to admit: they flush the Greek economy down the crapper.

I was going to type that I've never seen such an example of self delusional fuckwittery by a group of people who utterly refuse to accept reality, but then I realised that I can see that in the NBN forum on Whirlpool any time it is required to be demonstrated.  And then I remembered that Stavros Average not only hasn't got a clue about economics, but he doesn't care either - his only concern is the cost of Nikes, iPods and Adidas track pants, and that he's still going to get a government handout like he's been used to for the last 30 years.

So I then started writing something about Greece's L-plate, egotistical, bombastic prime minister, and how he's not only leading the country down the bog but actively dragging them there faster.  But the reality there is that he's a socialist party leader, elected by a bunch of people who have developed an expectation of a handout, and that it's basically his job to represent Greece as the world's largest permanent dole bludger - so what choice does he effectively have?

The latest idea of a referendum on whether the IMF proposal should be accepted is hilarious.  Even if there was any value in asking someone whose understanding of business is limited to a fruit stand about the subject, the way they have gone about it is comic opera.  Look at this proposal, if you had o word it any less clearly you'd need to form a committee.

This pretty much sums it up perfectly:

Most of the people won't understand it, most of them will donkey vote it with the first box, and those who actually have a stab at getting their point across will probably still fuck it up, because here's what the proposal says with the gibberish stripped out.  No traps for young players there at all, eh?

In any case, at this point I expect the IMF to put the hammer down in a few hours, everyone (other than Greeks) accepts that the idea that the experiment was as doomed to failure as any other form of enforced affirmative action where the candidate is totally unsuited to the challenge, and the Greek exchange rate will naturally settle to where it should be based on their balance of payments.

Margaret Thatcher said it best below, but other people have said much the same thing over history - the world doesn't owe anyone a handout, and nor will you get one long term, because sooner or later someone has to pay for it all.  While you've got the fundamental problem of one group of people consuming outside their capacity to contribute, the system stops working.

1 hour and 15 minutes to midnight GMT.