CommenTree

Uneducated, but can google at least.

Archive for October 2008

Chinese Internet

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Let me just first say that I oppose the current gubbermint’s idea of putting in internet filtering. It’s pointless. Sure, we need to protect the kiddies out there, but I’m pretty sure most responsible parents would be monitoring their children’s usage of the internet.

And I’m also of the impression that if you deny someone access to something, the harder they’ll work to get it.

See prohibition in Chicago, back in those days. Yep. The city was free of drunks, I’m sure.

I read the story on the http://www.news.com.au website, and I see that the majority of the comments agree with me. So I’m not going to have a dispute with the gist of what they’re saying. However, it’s this little chestnut that has me raising my eyebrows.

China

Well, there were so many to choose from, so I doubt I picked the best example. Either way, what they’re saying seems to be along the lines of:

OMG!!! They’re taking away our freedoms!!! We’re going to be the next China, and have everything taken away from us. We’re a communist nation now!!!

Seriously curious about how the Chinese filter their internets, a rudimentary search turned up the wikipedia article on it, and a list of things that the Chinese aren’t allowed to look up.

ChinaNetWiki

As far as I can gather, what is being proposed in Australia is about restricting access to illegal material. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in there about anti-Government material (which was supposedly covered in Australia’s anti-sedition laws… which seems to be working well, if judging by comments that flagrantly encourage people to vote against Labor), previous protests, alternative Government structures, and content relating to incarnations of a religious master (who might’ve pissed off the Government at some time).

So, in short, what is being proposed is ludicrous and I feel only encourages more stupidity. However, comparing our stupidity to China’s stupidity is a little… misguided, I feel.

Late addition: It appears that the UK Cleanfeed is an opt-in only, thereby the link between our ISP filtering and the UK filtering is bunk. Shove your response up your arse, Conroy.

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Written by Andy

October 29, 2008 at 11:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

You can tell I’m not a parent

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It’s confusing and overwhelming being a parent these days, I’m sure. Particularly if you popped out what is generally understood to be a Generation Y-er, because you can then pride yourself on contributing to the masses of self-centred, lazy, and carefree go-getters that currently clog our pubs and clubs every night of the week… if you believe mainstream media. Yep, the degradation of moral values, work ethic and sense of responsibility has nothing to do with their home environment and values instilled by parents, it’s because daddy forgot to whop on a rubber when jumping into the back of the Sigma with the missus at the Drive-In back in 1991.

It scares me a little that not only do I have to consider my ability to guide a growing child through the quagmire of society as, but also the timing of when I get some.

Today I note the story of a 15 year old boy who has run away from home after his parents confiscated his Xbox 360.

Pardon me while I get all nostalgic for a moment.

I remember my folks banning me from using the family Commodore Amiga as a result of me swearing. I hated them at the time, and I cursed at them (mentally) for depriving me of my leisure. In hindsight, they were right to do it. But I defy any teenager for hating their parents during their phase of awakening.

So what we have here is a teenager expressing their disdain through the means they deem necessary. I expressed mine while imagining my folks exploding into flames, as venting audibly resulted in sore ears. Also, it seems that Microsoft has joined the rescue party by matching the reward money already offered.

Comments have been interesting.

Fail

Way to miss the point. The internet is a wondrous thing, in that it allows everyone to have a voice. Yes, even the morons.

There are two sides, which I think can be summed up as thus:

Xbox1

Xbox6

So, on one hand you have the fingers pointing at the kid. Then the other hand is seemingly slapping the parents.

You have parents who have been through life and knowing what values they want to instill in their sprogs, and then you have said sprog wanting to “find themselves” or whatever. Parent’s feel they know better. Sprog feels they know better. I can imagine how this panned out:

Parent: Do your homework, or I’ll take away your Xbox!

Sprog: Fuck you! You’re not the boss of me!

Parent: Actually, I’m your legal guardian and because I’ve fed, clothed and sheltered you for the past 15 years, I think the least you can do is do a small task. You can play your Xbox after your homework is done.

Sprog: Fuck you! You’re not the boss of me!

Whilst this makes it sound like I’m firmly on the side of the parents here, look at it again. You see, in the above altercation, the parent tried bargaining with their sprog. And if a sprog thinks something as extreme as running away is a perfectly acceptable way of negotiating over something as insignificant as access to an Xbox, what does that say about the values the parent is instilling?

I hate to say it, but I think I might be siding with this guy:

Xbox4

Not that I actively advocate giving your children a hiding. There are probably better ways of giving your kids the necessary reinforcement to do what you want. Like threatening to tell “Dad Jokes” whenever their friends are around. In fact, I reserve my right to humiliate my kids with my insane dorkiness whenever I deem it the right thing to do. It leaves less psychological scars than a sockfull of oranges and provides more fear than terrorism.

I’ve gotta finish with this one, though:

Xbox5

I’m a cynic at the best of times. At the worst of times… well, let’s just say I find extensive comfort in my recordings of Daria.

Let’s entertain this for a second. Microsoft’s PR moguls are circled around their meeting table, flanked on either side by statuesque beauties, fanning them with banana tree fronds. They are brainstorming their next marketing ploy in order to get their brand out there.

Anastasia: Hey, I know! Why don’t we have a dog run back into a burning house to retrieve the precious Xbox from out of the living room?

Matthew-Michael: Nah, we can’t do that. The RSPCA has been watching us like hawks since that campaign with the dolphin. You know the one I’m talking about…

*All heads nod sagely*

J Allard: Well, we know that our core demographic are the young frat boys. We know that frat boys dislike authority, because authority means they have to listen to something and show restraint. How about we organise for some frat boys to run away from police or something? The cops wanted them to turn off their Xbox, so they flee.

M_M: That won’t work, J. It needs to be believeable. Frat boys don’t run. They punch. However, kids like running away. We can always rely on teenagers to act irrationally. How about we have a teenager run away from home because his parents confiscated his Xbox?

Anastasia: Genius! But where will he run away to? We’ll need to house him somewhere, surely. It’s cold out there these days.

J Allard: Nah, kids are resourceful these days. Besides, do you know how much money we’ve thrown at this Xbox project? We can’t just spend money willy-nilly. We haven’t turned a profit yet!

*he pauses to sip from his avacado daiquiri*

Somehow, I doubt it. J Allard would never use the term “willy-nilly”

EDIT: It appears that the body of the child in this story has been recovered, giving this post a somewhat tasteless leaning. However, I will keep this up if only for the knowledge that no one cares about this site enough for it to cause offense

Written by Andy

October 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Two Thousand and Eight

with 2 comments

I haven’t read Nineteen Eighty-Four. I know it seems completely abominable that anyone with a pretence towards wordsmithing has somehow skipped over the Orwellian tale of totalitarianism and surveillance, but frankly, I just did. No excuses. I did.

But I think I know the gist of it. People run by giant, faceless entity. Some Big Brother thing exists. Propaganda and stuff. Happy ending, probably.

Closed-circuit television exists everywhere today. You can’t walk down the street without being snapped from all angles, either by council placed cameras or some teenager’s shoe. But you know, it was there. Everyone knew it. People seemed to shrug and get on with life.

But now, according to the news, Ipswich in Queensland is looking to mount some speakers on the cameras so that an authoritarian voice can speak directly to anyone committing a misdemeanour. And it has people in a tizz.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. In England, this was trialled. I can’t find a link to the story, but there was an opinion piece written by a Briton which can be found here. In fact, the article contains what I consider to be the single most brilliant line ever to have been written by anyone, anywhere.

Show some balls for once in your poxy life. Give us the Daleks.

Charlie Brooker.

Reponses have been varied, but I’ll pick on just a couple.

BB1

Tin Foil Hat award goes to this bloke. Or chick. Since David Borneaz stuck Play Doh to his head and started biting people, it’s been hard to tell if “Angel” is feminine or masculine. But I admire their pluck to rally the troops and wake people up from their stupor. As for the eroding of our freedoms and sovereignty, I fail to see how sticking a couple speakers to a camera contributes to this.

I mean, the cameras are already out there. CCTV is everywhere. Considering that now the cameras can talk to you, at least it lets people know they’re being watched. You know, kinda like the peeping tom that taps politely on the window to let you know he’s there.

BB2

Same point here. How does a talking camera infringe on your rights moreso than a typically mute one? I mean, I think it’s a little more polite. It’s almost cute.

CeilingCat

Big Brother is watching you masturbate

Written by Andy

October 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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The other day I caught the tail end of Triple J’s Hack, and they were discussing the proliferation of pornography on mobile phones these days, and how people were using their gadgets to make ad hoc smut. It seems that people are embracing their inner Paris Hilton and taping themselves in action, so to speak.

So, it’s with some bemusement that I note the outrage regarding some new airport scanners, and their capability of seeing through clothes and through to people’s rude bits. This is hardly a new concept, if you were to believe the movie Flying High.

And of course there’s the comments:

xray1

Everyone has the right to be outraged, but I cannot help but point out a small part of the article Ian might’ve missed.

Mr Brenan said the scanners were optional and passengers would not be forced to go under the machines.

Just a small detail, I know.

xray3

Wow, Andrew. It must be really cool to work for the airports n’ stuff. Say, I’ve always wondered what makes those wandy things work. Do they emit much radiation? Because I fear it might affect your cognitive abilities… ie being able to read, much like your mate above, Ian.

Because the machine cannot save images, it could not be used as evidence in a police investigation or court case, Mr Brenan said.

“The same way you can’t actually keep the beep from the metal archway when you walk through, we don’t need to keep the image either because it’s all about stopping it happening in the first place,” he said.

Cool, so “Little Vacuous” won’t be getting his fifteen minutes of fame yet? Dang.

xray2

I’m no “Andrew of North sydney”, so I’m not exactly au fait with the equipment that airport security use, but I think they might get around this little conundrum by using something I’ve heard about some time ago. I think they were these things.

witchcraft

Witchcraft. Clearly.

They’re called Walkie Talkies, or something. You see, they magically let you speak with another person who is far, far away – yes, even when there’s a wall in the way – and they could then let another security person know that something a bit odd is showing on the scan.

You know, they see something suspicious and then they use their “Walkie Talkie” to say something like, “Hey, Theo. The guy who’s in the nudey tube right now is carrying a couple blocks of Semtex on their person”

Theo would then fetch the guy out the scanner, take them to a back room, strip them and then put the footage on youtube.

But it does strike me as odd that people are quite willing to nude up and record some grainy footage of them demonstrating their ploughing ability, but there is much concern over a chalk outline of their bumps. I guess it’s okay to show their videos to anonymous people, but it’s not okay to show a couple security guards. Behind doors. Between a barrier.

Who can’t see your face.

Written by Andy

October 15, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Objective review of a rival

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I don’t have a link to the particular story, so I’ll just provide one to a gratuitous interrogation I performed on her earlier this year. With other people. In the comments section.

Megan Gale was in the city yesterday, pumping gas for motorists. Highly charitable of her, methinks. Some of the guys in my office decided to fetch their vehicles and pay her a visit… even if they’d filled up yesterday. A free filler from a hot woman would appeal to most, I’m sure.

So they came back, photos and all. The male bravado simply required them to make crude jokes and do a bit of “Phwoar, what I wouldn’t do to that!”

It was mentioned in passing that she’s more than smitten by one half Austereo’s Drive team, and irreverent duo Hamish and Andy.

“He’s a loser…” was the loud reply. He repeated this a couple times to ram his point home.

It got me thinking. Here was a regular specimen of a man, middle management, loud booming voice, clean shaven and generally likeable summing up the merits of another human being.

So, on one hand you have a guy who makes a living by giggling with his mate on radio for a few hours everyday of the week, who probably spends much of his time going to fancy parties and milling about with other big names of this country. Other times he has been known to drive a van around the country with his mate, just for kicks. He’s been voted “Cleo Bachelor of the Year”, which let’s face it, is pretty much a knicker-dropper for many women out there.

And on the other hand you have a bloke who spends his days hauling himself out of bed to come to a job he hates for a little over median wage.

Yeah. And Andy’s the loser…

Written by Andy

October 10, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pole-axed

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Sometimes you gotta laugh. Other times you gotta cry. Right about now, I feel about in the middle, not knowing whether to break down in hysterics, or to break down in sadness. The local rag’s website today ran a story of a digger who has been forced to remove his symbol of Aussie patriotism due to a complaining neighbour.

It’s enough to get commenters bristling and angry.

flag1

flag2

flag3

flag4

Considering most people commenting on this seem to have missed a little point to the article, I have copied and pasted the full article below, highlighting a little, yet important, word:

————————

AN ex-soldier has been ordered to take down the Australian flag which flies outside his house because it has been deemed “offensive” by a neighbour.


Aaron Wilson erected the 5m high flagPOLE eight weeks ago, in honour of his friends who served in Iraq.

But on Tuesday, Logan City Council called to tell him a neighbour had made a complaint, labelling it “offensive”.

He was told to remove the POLE or risk legal action. Mr Wilson, whose father fought in Vietnam, said he was disgusted.

“I find it astonishing that anyone could find the Australian flag offensive,” he said.

“My family and friends have served for the country and the very least I can do is have a flag to show my appreciation for Australia.

“I thought the council had better things to do with their time than persecute people for putting a flag up.”

A council spokeswoman said there was a concern the flagPOLE could fall down in high winds. She said Mr Wilson needed a building permit, because the POLE was only 4.5m from the kerb and, under the Queensland Development Code, it should be at least 6m from the front.

But Mr Wilson, 30, a salesman from Eagleby, near Beenleigh, said other residents in the area had similar flagPOLEs that were closer to the boundary than his.

He said he would not be moving the flag. “You can’t have rules for some people and not for others,” he said. “I can’t see how moving the flag back a bit is going to stop it being offensive.”

Ex-serviceman Cr Ray Hackwood, who represents Mr Wilson’s ward, said he would be monitoring the situation.

“As area councillor, I certainly won’t allow anyone to pull down an Australian flag,” he said.

Mr Wilson’s neighbours last night were baffled as to who had complained.

Felicia Maybury, 28, said: “Mr Wilson’s got a right to fly his flag in support of his country and his mates who fought for us.”

—————–

So, the council should be sacked for enforcing a rule about erecting structures on property? Funny, I thought you got sacked for not doing your job…

Because the only cited reason for taking the POLE down is one of safety and the rules. As for the other people in the neighbourhood who have POLEs closer to the boundary than his, who’s to say they won’t be getting a letter from the flag Gestapo shortly? Maybe they haven’t been unlucky enough to have a neighbour report them yet.

As for it being “offensive”?

Perhaps the English language is to be partially to blame here. Personally, I don’t see how a flag could offend anyone. Or even a flagPOLE for that matter.

offense

See how that could get mixed up? The flag is “offending” because the flagPOLE is there unlawfully, sorta like a loitering Washington Monument.

…. just putting it out there…

Written by Andy

October 9, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Scraping by

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There are a few national aussie sports. They’re usually esoteric ones, like cricket, Australian Rules, Rugby, Roo shooting, hiding our bigotry and bank bashing. You always know when a game of Bank Bashing is about to start, as the conversation usually starts with, “I’m not a Bank Basher… but…” before inserting a tirade about fees, interest, customer service and stupid pen chains.

The Reserve Bank’s enormous slashing of a hundred basis points was followed by (according to published reports) at the most, a mere 80 point cut. More astute members of the public who spent time at school looking at their maths paper instead of eating it have noticed the glaring missing 20 points, effectively shooting the starter’s pistol on the next Bank Bash Match.

Bash

If there’s something that annoys us, it’s a big faceless corporation wringing out massive profits. I mean, it’s enough to make you think you’re in a capitalist society.

But this does beg the question: how much profit should a bank make? I mean, would the people be outraged over obscene profits had the bank managed to run through a financial year with only just enough to cover a slab of mid-strength at the bank’s annual Christmas booze-up-n-bonk fest?

How about they get a bit of divine retribution for their evil ways and get handed a loss? That’ll learn ’em with their scummy ways.

Forget for a second that quite a bit is tied up into the big Australian banks, like superannuation and little 8 year old Sebastyen’s beginner savers account. Australians are also supporters of the ol’ underdog. The Battlers. Those whose blood, sweat and other fluids built this great nation. Those on the front line, selling our stuffed Koalas to tourists, answering phone calls from irate people and go home to a neighbourhood pock-marked with bullet holes, to their tiny dog house whose costs to keep is sucking out most of their pay packet. The “little guy”, as described in the comment above…

You know… average income earners.

People who would fill roles such as this (from Seek).

Postn

Because you can be sure that it’s these people get the arse in the event that banks don’t start turning the required profits.

I guess the rules of Bank Bashing only take into account that banks over ever recruit CEOs who give themselves massive bonuses and swan about in their Mercedes Benzes. It’s only ever the morally bankrupt who are sending those on the verge of fiscal bankruptcy to the wall, isn’t it?

People who think that banks are like this caricature are all morons.

But hey… I’m not a bigot, but…

Written by Andy

October 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized