Tuesday, 9 January 2007

06-01-2004_06-30-2004

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Little Known Fact
Just before anyone accuses me of being anti-Edison, anti-USA, anti-whatever - I have been hoarding this little snippet of spookiness since I first started seriously researching Edison Westinghouse Tesla et al:
Little known fact - If Thomas Edison had lived to exactly 110, he would have died on my birthday. 110 divided by 100 is 1.1, which is my birthdate, the 11th. Who made the voltage of his power system 110v anyway - that's an odd voltage to choose when 100v would be so much easier to calculate with.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:24 PM Ted
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Western Australia home of the genius, rest of Australia nil...
This gets me. Article on a well known TV news magazine format show, claiming that Western Australia produces more than an average share of gifted/genius children. That bit, being Western Australian, I can handle.... hehehe
But they went on to say that going by their IQs these kids would have the possibility to become "geniuses like Edison" and that just made me see red. Pity TV news crews don't have enough mental horsepower to pull the skin off rice puddings hey? Edison was clever, but he was no genius. He was sneaky and stole ideas as often as he developed them, that does not a genius make, just a good businessman.
On top of that, the pointing out that Western Australia produces more geniuses. For what was once billed as "The Clever Country," it would appear that "clever" has turned to "dumb" lately and "country" - well, I'll leave you to figure out which plural noun that has become...
Point is that we are not becoming more clever, just that WA is getting dumber at the slowest rate. We're not hard-working Aussie battlers anymore, we have the laziest children in the world, our rate of change toward obesity is threatening to make us the fattest, and our Government is becoming our biggest liability.
We're becoming one of the most taxed countries, with one of the least amounts of democratic participation, and even our politicians are seemingly stupider nowadays than they have ever been.
We've turned into the lazy fat dumb out of luck fucks of the world, and TV programs are trying to rake an ember of brilliance from the ashes of what used to be a pretty good place to live, once.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:21 PM Ted
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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sometimes, there's just not a lot to write about
It's just been a few weeks devoid of anything to spark the topical engine, and also I've been very busy, so apologies for the sporadic blog.
Where I work, we develop software for the mining industry, and we also develop 3D realworld scanning hardware and software which is widely used, and also hardware which rides around on haul trucks and provides process control for mines.
The technician in our Perth office resigned a few weeks back, and because I have electronics training, I volunteered to do repairs on electronics for the latter part of our business. I never knew I could get so busy...
At the same time, my other system admin took a week holiday (as I was later to learn, to attend job interviews) and I had a work experience student to train fulltime for two weeks. In addition, of course, to keeping the network going, and doing the other guy's tasks for the week as well.
So now that he's gone on to bigger and newer challenges, I will have almost zero spare time to blog, until we interview and select a new candidate.
Oh and I scored a gmail account, I am now "teddlesruss" at that email service, thank you John for the invite. I think I've managed to score that enail name a every mail service I could get to in the early days, so you can find me thusly styled on hotmail, bigfoot, lycos, netscape, swiftdsl.com.au, and probably a couple of others I haven't remembered. Aside from gmail and hotmail I check the rest rather few times, and bigfoot redirects to my current popmail account of choice.
And I think it was on angelfire or tripod that I suffered my one and only case of being beaten to the draw, so since 1995 I really have tried to collect the whole set.
Anyway the stilnox has kicked in and I am ready to snooze. Ask your doctor about Stilnox tablets if you suffer insomnia, they work, are non-addictive, non-habituating, and provide the best sleep value. I take half a tiny tablet when I need to get to sleep, and after three years of semiregular use I still only need the half a tab, and on the nights I don't feel a need to take them, I still get a great night's sleep. I'm waiting for someone to find the nasty side effect but so far I have not been able to find any myself, they are great.
One downside is if I try to stay awake (like now to finish this) then I get visual effects, like things to the periphery of my vision seeming to move when I'm not watching them, but that also happened with other sleeping pills I tried back before Stilnox were released.
So g'night all...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 1:44 AM Ted
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Monday, June 21, 2004

Not Just Incompetence, But Prize Incompetence.
Last night, Trish and I went to see a movie. Shrek 2, actually. And we never got to see it.
Trish had booked the tickets days in advance, because we wanted "Premiere" seating no less. This cinema line actually calls the cinemas "La Premiere" and they expect you to pay a premium for those seats.
We paid the price, arrived in plenty of time to claim our Internet-booked tickets, and -
"Sorry but we've had a bit of a problem, you see no-one realised that we'd double-booked the theatre and we're really very sorry but there's this corporate booking and - you can are welcome to see the movie for free from the normal cinema..."
We explained, patiently I thought, to this box office bimbo, that we'd used the online booking system and booked La Premiere seats because we particularly didn't want to miss out on the movie and because we do not like the normal cinemas.
After a few more offers of "look! - free movie!" and us explaining again that we wanted to see our movie at La Premiere and would they figure out a way to make that happen, only to be met with that same slightly supercilious attitude, we asked to see a manager and an usher was called to take us.
When she materialised near us, we followed her across the movieplex front foyer. BAD mistake...
The stupid bitch led us over the only patch of tile floor in probably the entire place. Which the equally stupid junior had mopped as ordered, and then left, I am not kidding, with water standing all over it. Trish was closest and landed all her weight on her left knee, and I just missed the same fate because I saw her fall and tried to catch her instead of keeping going. The stupid usher bimbo walked on the carpet just half a metre to the side.
While I was kneeling in the liquid (the little prick hadn't even cleaned the floor, only added water to whatever crap had been spilled) I noticed the "Wet Floor" sign - around the corner, right against the wall, and only marginally bigger than a postage stamp, and placed so that you could only see it if you were coming from the ONE direction no-one would ever approach the candy bar from. (Oh yeah, these total fricken GENIUSES had just drowned the only piece of tile floor right in front of the candy bar at the BUSIEST TIME OF THE EVENING.)
So we're sitting on the floor, Trish is in tears because her knee is hurting and she can't stand up, I am fuming because it has just occurred to me that these people couldn't organise a fuck in a brothel with a fistful of fifties, the security guard is telling the floor dick to fetch a manager, and he in turn is standing there with his hands on his head making Beaker noises and no doubt seeing a rich career in washing floors badly going down the tubes and rightly so, I wouldn't trust this guy with plasticine...
Aforementioned manager steams into sight, walks across the same bit of floor, and goes flat on her back, probably compressing her spine badly in the process before finally smacking the back of her head HARD on those tiles. By now someone has had the presence of mind to dump a dozen towels around and sop up that water, but the manager has to let a junior take over for her because she is in agony herself and crying real tears too.
After about ten minutes a wheelchair arrives and the security guard and I help Trish into it, then we spend another 20 minutes with the junior filling in accident reports and reports and more fricken reports, finally we're allowed to get on our way. To hospital because I'm not taking chances, the kneecap has a deep indentation across it and Trish is in a lot of pain.
Three in the morning we get home, the same home we left at eight fifteen.
All could have been avoided. You double-book a theatre, that's your problem, you do NOT make it the customer's problem and offer them a free second-rate experience. You do NOT take the customer to see a manager you bring a manager to the customer. And you A) don't let a total dickhead wash floors for you, nor B) steer customers through that wet area when you do screw up bigtime and then compund the cockup by not following the second "don't". You TRAIN staff to do things properly and safely.
I don't think I ever want to have the "La Premier Experience" again.... Every rule on how to handle customer relations was broken in this incident, every safety rule was broken, staff were shown to be poorly trained, and unsafe environments were allowed in the busiest part of the foyer at the busiest time of the busiest evening of the week. Take it from me, Hoyts needs a good kick up the pants to wake them up, and I hope we're the ones to give it to them.
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, June 21, 2004 12:41 AMposted at 12:08 AM Ted
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Monday, June 07, 2004

Future Past - A Great Website
Having just read this, I had to stop and think for a moment. I fit right into David's "waited forty years or more to see the future" category, and I remember feeling ripped off when y2k clocked on...
What was I thinking the future would be like? Hmmm... Let's see....
As a kid I gave it hardly any thought, really. We had automobiles and aeroplanes, I'd never seen the inside of a train, but flown to Arabia and then steamed on a passenger liner to Australia, where my father worked on a wheat and sheep farm. At that time I would have been, oh, around eight I guess... What else was there in the future? Vaguely I could imagine space exploration, aliens, and - that was about it. In '63 or '64, I hadn't thought much about it yet.
In fact, I don't recall thinking about this much at all, until I was out in the workforce in '74 - '75. I read science fiction novels and popular science magazines and Bermuda Triangle and Von Daniken style books voraciously, supplemented with Asterix cartoons, Archie and Jughead, Mad magazine, and anything else I could get my hands on. What need was there for me to imagine a future when other people were filling in my futures for me, showing me pasts that were stranger than truth, and examining the present in ways that make science fiction pulps look conservative?
It wasn't until I was safely out form under the aegis of the Australian "education" system that I started to think. (And THAT's a telling phrase right there, take note Australian educators!)
I was working for a small airline in Papua New Guinea when I saw my first computer. It was BIG and it was EXPENSIVE, and the airline was using it for bookings and scheduling. It occupied around eight racks, at least one of which was a Wimchester drive, and was surrounded by TTY and card terminals. I helped install parts of it, and then immediately went away and built myself an SCMP-based 4 bit computer with front panel LEDs and switches.
I knew that computers were going to be important. It was the no-brainer prediction of the early 70's. By the late 70's I owned a Sinclair ZX-80 and soon after that, and Amstrad CPC464.
My prediction that computers were going to organise my life and work and automate many of my chores and tasks, still hasn't fully come true. My prediction that computers would be important didn't go far enough.
I thought that by now, we'd have had a decent solution for getting stuff in orbit and keeping it there. LaGrange point stations - still haven't come true. And decent electric vehicles - still not here.
It's a pity because they are things we need. Everyone who's got a shred of power in the world should be forced to spend a week in space seeing the Earth in total rather than from the limited little viewpoint of their own backyard. And everyone should by now be driving vehicles which recharge on wind or solar power, and generate no harmful wastes to harm the Earth.
I also had one other prediction, which hasn't come true. Polticians should get paid a lot more for what they do.
"WTF?" did I hear you say? "Are you crazy?"
Well, I had considered a slightly more radical aproach to the term "democracy" of course... Quite simply, a small implant would be enough. A small implant designed to explode or to poison...
Link this to a computer poll which every person is allowed to vote in -once a day - and the term "popularity" takes on a new meaning. When I thought of this it was ridiculous, there wasn't enough computer power in the world to manage a small country like Tonga let alone any large country. But nowadays the processing to keep the implants tracked and votes counted and prevent abuse of the system by cheats or warring powers is not only available but available in spades.
As I said once before, a lot of environmental damage is done because polticians know that the effects of something they've legislated won't become known until after their term is over - but if their past can hunt them down... Hmmmm....
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, June 07, 2004 9:00 PMposted at 1:13 PM Ted
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A-USA-ustralian. De Fence.
Excuse me. Excuse me?
Has anyone else read this? Sleazy Johnny goes away to become Bush's puppydog, Latham goes out of his way to go against the Aussie/USA alliance, and Hill goes off to sign deals with Rumsfeld.
As a result, we still have troops in Iraq (which is okay with me, some things need to be put back in their box and fundamentalism of ANY kind is one of those) but now they are considerably unhappier about it because of Latham's bleatings. That almost makes Latham guilty of treason, since we are in a state of war, no matter how "latte-ified" and effete a war it seems to be. And we will have USAian troops here as well, so we will still be a target for fundie terrorists no matter what.
I thought this was a democracy, and that it would be nice to be asked if we wanted a training ground here where Yanks could kill themselves in stupid accidents, nice to be asked if we did or didn't want to commit troops to a second Vietnam, but obviously I have my definition of "democracy" confused with something else.
He looks positively ecstatic doesn't he? In fact, they both look like they just got away with having sex, although Rumsfeld looks like he was the man in this encounter and Hill, the bitch. Seems to be part of the Australian butt-kissing attitude to Yanksvillians...
Scuse me while I go find a real Government...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, June 07, 2004 8:32 PMposted at 1:01 PM Ted
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Yet another one.
Here's another new species - this time a Philipine mouse.
As I said, evolution is a work in progress - I half expect to see one of those "This page is under construction" images pop up at various key points during news articles etc...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:43 PM Ted
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