Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

God Greenlights GM

August 5, 2003

This should give the EU luddites a much needed shakeup:

THE Vatican has stunned opponents of genetically modified foods by declaring they hold the answer to world starvation and malnutrition.

Until Sunday’s statement the Vatican had been neutral in the European Union-US confrontation over GM food.

Obviously, nothing the Pope says will have much of an effect on the godless commies infesting the anti-GM activist groups around the world, but he does still have a bit of leverage where it really counts – with the people.

Regardless of religious beliefs, it’s good to see that someone, at least, is capable of applying a bit of good, old-fashioned common sense to the debate:

Archbishop Martino, who until last year was the Vatican representative at the UN, said he had lived for 16 years in the US “and I ate everything that was offered to me, including genetically modified products. They had no effect on my health. This controversy is more political than scientific.”

The Vatican study will argue that the future of humanity is at stake and that there is no room for the ideological arguments advanced by environmentalists.

Amen.

Weird Wired

August 4, 2003

The latest online issue of Wired is devoted to all the weird sci-fi inventions we love, and how close we are to actually inventing them. Invisibility Cloaks, Anti-Grav Skateboards, Teleporters, Time Travel – you name it, it’s there.

Cops Try To Reseal Pandora’s Box

July 30, 2003

You don’t even need to be a chemist to manufacture drugs any more. Newscorp reports that Australian drug dealers are buying the tools of the trade from Amazon.com:

AS a special murder task force investigates the bloody amphetamines drug war erupting in Victoria, police around the country have uncovered dozens of clandestine laboratories and copies of an illegal “cookbook” on how to make the illicit drugs.

It is believed the recent murders in Melbourne are linked to drug wars that are being fuelled by the availability of internet recipes and a manual called Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture, written by an underground chemist known as “Uncle Fester”.

The 183-page book, available on the internet, tells how to set up backyard kitchens right through to large-scale productions rivalling the traditional crime syndicate operations.

It’s really only a matter of time before the local production of ecstasy and other pills reaches the point where decriminalisation is seriously looked at. Police and politicians long ago realised that trying to stop marijuana consumption was impossible, because it’s so easy to produce. If we reach the point where any teenager can make ecstasy after a trip to Bunnings, what then?

Horrible Truth Discovered

July 29, 2003

A New Zealand study has revealed that teenage boys like to download photos of naked teenage girls:

The study profiled 106 people who have been investigated by the Censorship Compliance Unit. The bulk of the people profiled in the Department of Internal Affairs study were identified via the internet.

The offenders’ ages, at the time they were investigated, ranged from 14 to 67 with the average age being 30.

Almost a third of the offenders were students and a third lived at home with their parents or grandparents. The most common age of offending in the study’s sample was 17.

But almost a quarter of the offenders were aged less than 20 years.

Pretty shocking stuff so far. But wait, there’s more!

After the 33 students identified in the study, the next biggest group was the information technology industry and white collar/administrative positions.

People who work with computers are more likely to look at porn on the internet. Additionally, most of them are male. A vital link that wasn’t mentioned is that most of the offenders also have eyes.

Telstra Telstra Uber Alles

June 26, 2003

We don’t need an inquiry into Telstra. We need a Bulldozer.

Telstra is using standover tactics to intimidate broadband customers who want to move to a different ISP, federal parliament was told yesterday.

Senator Alston said he would look into the claims that Telstra had visited ADSL customer Steve Mann at home to threaten to disconnect his service.

Bigpond spokesperson Kerrina Lawrence told Whirlpool the telco would be monitoring the line closely to ensure that nearby telephone services were not affected by Mann’s ADSL service being pushed outside the regular distance limits for ADSL.

ADSL customer Steve Mann was yesterday bemused over the whole saga. He said Telstra had told him he had a ‘stay of execution’.

Can we start busting it into itty bitty little pieces yet? I’ll man the bulldozer, free of charge!

Gaz Officially Famous

June 24, 2003

Gareth gets mentioned (twice!) in this article in the Age. The writer seems a little confused at the beginning:

Here’s what you didn’t see in the headlines this week:

More cyberbarking in the debate between Tim Blair (timblair.blogspot.com) and Gareth Parker (www.drivelwarehouse.com/gareth/) over political bias at the ABC’s Media Watch.

I don’t remember Gareth and Tim having any disagreements that could be described as barking lately. Maybe she meant Gary Sauer-Thompson.

The rest of the article goes on with a pretty basic summation of the popularity of blogs etc. Where this article falls short, like many others, is that it fails to mention me. HELLO! IM A WHORE FOR ATTENTION! PUT ME ON TV! Gareth gets mentioned twice! He hasn’t even posted anything for the last month asfkl;sdajsl;fjas excuse me while I kill myself. The end.

Photoshop: Propaganda For The People

June 23, 2003

iraq_mcdonalds.jpgA lot of bloggers are of the view that blogging represents a sort of “democratisation” of opinion. People like me, who would have previously relied on the whims of newspaper editors to get a letter published, can now inflict our opinions on the world at minimal cost, and without requiring any of the qualifications that “real journalists” possess.

In the same vein, the proliferation of image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop allows those same people to take a stab at a form of expression that has previously been the domain of advertising professionals and government propagandists. No doubt the popularity of Photoshopping in the last few years is also a result of the growth of file sharing services like Kazaa, which allows these amateur propagandists to try their hand without the inconvenience of saving up $1000 to actually purchase it.

My skill with Photoshop could best be described as “adequate”. I’ve tried a few pictures, but my dissent is frequently crushed by my lack of artistic talent, or knowledge of how digital effects are created. I can copy, paste, apply a few basic effects etc. That’s about it. Some of my earlier efforts, The EU Cube and the Microsoft Word for Lefties, turned out ok, but there’s no doubt that someone with greater skill could have done much better.

Photoshopping nowadays is very competitive. It is getting to the point where it is often impossible to tell whether the image you are looking at is a real photo, or has been edited for someone’s entertainment. Dave at IsraellyCool(bloggered) has an example, tackling the Euroweenies efforts to boycott Israeli farming produce. About.com has a pretty extensive list of politically-themed photoshops, of differing quality.

These images are primarily created by teenagers or 20-something computer enthusiasts, often at home, on their parents’ computers. A lot of them are of a quality that is on par, or even exceeding, professional advertising. Photoshopped images are often seen at protests, alongside the professionally produced banners and hand-drawn signs.

In the same way as the internet has given bloggers the tools to compete with traditional print media journalists, it’s given the more visually inclined a level playing field with which to compete with the (arguably) more powerful medium of print advertising. Imagine if they let them loose on TV…

Update: As if on cue, Kim Jong Il gets Farked.

MS Pulls Out Of Enemy Territory

June 16, 2003

Microsoft has given up the war on communism, abandoning the future development of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh.

Microsoft says it will no longer develop versions of its popular Web-browsing software for Apple Computer’s Macintosh system, saying Apple’s own browsing software is a logical choice for Mac users.

Except for two minor upgrades, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5 is the last version it will develop for the Mac, said Jessica Sommers, product manager for the software company’s Macintosh Business Unit.

Internet Explorer already has more than 90 percent of the market, he said, and Microsoft doesn’t need the added exposure to Mac users, who constitute less than 5 percent of computer users.

Macs are great though, really. 5% of computer users can’t be wrong!

I like my Apples RED

June 11, 2003

Rob Corr commented:

Oh, and your layout is munted — everything is showing up in the left-hand column and 3/4 of the page is blank. I’m using Mozilla 1.3.)

to which Bailz quite rightly pointed out:

Moz is ghey.

Mark elaborated:

It is indeed, bailz, but it’s (Mozilla) the best we’ve got.
Out of the big three for Windows (Moz & Moz-based, Opera, IE & IE-based), Opera is probably the easiest and fastest, but Mozilla is the most feature-rich and standards-compliant. IE sucks donkey balls in any comparison (except the “don’t need to install anything”, thank YOU Microsoft you competition-sucking… ahem).

It’s not coincidence that Rob and Mark are both redder than Bob Brown’s buttcheeks after they’ve received a good caning from Carmen Lawrence.

Some cynical capitalists might argue that IE is the standard, since 95% of page views occur in Microsoft’s glorious window.

Opera’s coders are smart enough to recognise that, and Opera renders identically to IE. Besides which, these “problems” never happen in reverse. If something renders in Mozilla, it renders in IE and Opera too. The reverse is not true.

Where’s the real standard here?

By and large, the only people using Mozilla are those who have an ideological problem with Microsoft. Like Mac Users. And Communists. And by Mac Users I mean “Communists”.

I’m not being unreasonable here. If you are a commie, you are still allowed to read my blog. You are even allowed to read it using Netscape/Mozilla. I’m not going to restrict your freedom!

If you are not a commie, and are using either an Apple Macintosh or a Mozilla broswer on an Intel/Windows PC, you need to ask yourself: WHY?

Apple computers are overpriced, wanky things that have no redeeming features and haven’t had since Photoshop was ported to the PC. They don’t even have any decent games! Sell it to a commie, and buy a cheaper, faster PC. Spend the rest of the cash on Petrol for your Talon and/or Porn. Go Crazy!

If you are a commie, please refrain from mentioning that my site does not work in Mozilla. I have known about it for quite some time. I decided not to change it because I REFUSE TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE RED MENACE THAT IS THE AXIS OF APPLE

So to recap, the new rules for reading my website:

1. Patriotic Australians (and foreign guests) who believe in free enterprise will do the right thing by uninstalling Netscape/Mozilla and selling any contraband purchased from the Communist NGO “Apple Computer INC”.

2. Communists reading my blog will please refrain from mentioning that my site doesnt work properly in Netscape or I will go McCarthy on your red asses.

3. If, for some insane reason, you are not a communist but still need to use a Mac and/or Mozilla, you will please respect my web site by NOT using Mozilla to view it. If you have both an Apple Mac AND a Wintel PC, my Web Site should only be viewed on the Wintel PC.

I believe these new rules to be quite fair and balanced. This shouldn’t apply to most of you anyway, because 95% of people are decent, upstanding Microsoft users already.

(Communists are bad, btw)

Has The Ozblogging Bubble Burst?

June 10, 2003

Let’s take a look around my blogroll and see what’s going on…

Gareth Parker: On Hiatus
Rob Corr: On Hiatus
Steve Edwards: …Hiatus and his template’s stuffed
James Morrow: Appears to have chucked it in
Australian Tory: 3 posts in 2 months
Libertarians: Scaled back to 3-4 posts a week
Ken Parish: 1 server crash away from chucking it in
Stew Kelly: 1-2 posts a week

Did everyone just get their group certificate and realise they need to put in more hours at the office?

Not everyone is slowing down though. Tim Blair, James Russell, Gary Sauer-Thompson, John Ray, John Quiggin and Tim Dunlop are still going strong. Niall Cook is doing his best to annoy righties with 3-4 posts and 150 comments a day.

Scott Wickstein is continuing his aggression, signing up established bloggers to his evil empire daily. Bailz better watch out.

Even so, there seems to be a lot of people decreasing their output, and no major attempt to fill the void from anyone I’m aware of. Any new Australian bloggers out there? Let me know.