STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Here, here.

The link above is to a political party that has just set up in the US, following in the footsteps of Sweden's own Pirate Party - a party who are advocating reforms to copyright and IP law, amongst other things.

Now, this whole issue is something I feel quite strongly about. In this article, it discusses how the US government used the threat of trade sanctions against Sweden in order to get their government's ministries to take unconstitutional action against The Pirate Bay; a bittorrent tracker that is extremely popular - and most of my tiny readership are quite familiar with ({cough}Tam{/cough}).

See, the thing that makes me really quite angry about this, is that they weren't tracking down terrorists who'd killed hundreds of people. They didn't force the hand of the Swedish government against it's own constitution to protect anything of real value. They did it to protect the potential profits of a multi-corporate conglomerate of media labels. They did it to stop individuals from being able to obtain something for free, that these corporations would like to be able to sell them - that is assuming of course, that someone would like to buy it. Is it something they produced by the labor of their own hands? Ah, no. It's something which they obtained by contracting artists - artists who they then underpay and exploit for their own benefit.

Anyhow, just thought I'd mention - if anyone ever bothers to set up an Australian party supporting the same ideals, I'd be more then happy to send my votes in their direction. I'm appalled that the US used the Free Trade Agreement with this country to enforce portions of the DMCA onto us; legislation that has been universally acknowleged as significantly flawed. What Australian laws did the US adopt? What concessions did they make on our behalf? I'd hazard a guess: none.

Grrrr... OK, stopping now.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

t3h n1nj4!!

What happens when I get bored while working from home...

(Taken yesterday with my DV camera while busily fixing someone's mundane support issue)


Today is my son's 2nd birthday, and while I've only really had half an hour before work to share it with him, it's been really exciting to see him be aware for the first time that this is a special day all about him. We made the mistake of breaking out the good present first, and so it was hard to break his attention for long enough to give him the others, but in the end he has some shiny new toys to add to the mountain of stuff that he owns. When we (eventually) have our next child, they're getting 100% hand-me-downs for toys until they're old enough to know the difference. Either that, or we'll have an enormous eBay sale at some stage...
Anyway - I'll post some photos of the big day on here tonight when I can get at the home PC. For now, this is an internet-enabled "happy birthday" to my special little boy. Feel free to leave birthday wishes in the comments, and I'll pass them on to him.

Monday, June 05, 2006

American Political Awesomeness

The following quote is from this article in the New York Times (registration may be required) which was spoken by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.:
"There is a looming threat. There is a threat of a capacity to be able to demonstrate a real threat to the United States and our allies down the road, but there's nothing imminent at this point."

Oh my gosh. Have you ever seen a less specific statement? A threat of a capasity to demonstrate a threat. I think Australia poses a threat of a capasity to be able to demonstrate a real threat to the U.S. I mean, there's people here. So that's a threat of a capasity to demonstrate a threat, isn't it? Crazy. Pure crazy.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cross-platform Blues

OK people - new idea. Let's all use the same desktop platform. Let's stuff off this choose your prefered OS idea, and play OS Survivor to see who wins:
And the winner is WINDOWS with 19 votes to 1*. Too bad other OS's - the tribe has spoken. Get stuffed.

Awesome. Everyone uses Windows on their clients from now on. You can screw around with whatever OS you like on servers, and hey - I know *nix has it's place in the world with developers and server farms and whatnot - but the people who use those machines for those purposes can deal with the differences between the two platforms, and generally acknowelge that you're a tool if you try and put linux on your mum's PC and expect her to be able to use it. It's only the fanboys who cry out that all is equal. Let's be honest: it's SO SO not.

And hey, don't get me started about Mac OSX. I now work with OSX on a daily basis and all I've had my eyes opened to is that Mac users are increadibly fanatical to the point of blindness.
OMG!!! It has a MAGNIFYING GLASS in the top corner that lets you SEARCH FOR STUFF! This craps all over Windows!!!! LOL!!!

Ah, who cares if they've put a search button on your menu bar? All OS's have had search capabilities for a very very long time. Yes, Spotlight does search in places that the current itteration of the Windows OS search doesn't, but that, a new desktop skin, and widgets is so not impressive for a major OS release - and isn't worth the money that all the fanboys farmed out to aquire it. Also, if you want to pick nits, there are a myriad of little add-ons out there (Google Desktop Search, MSN Desktop search, blah de blah) that do more even then Spotlight does. They don't count because they're 3rd party? OK, then Mac blows because they don't have globally-available video and audio CODECS!! Quicktime supports codecs, but hey, Quicktime is about as 3rd party as MSN desktop search, isn't it? No? Could that conlusion perhaps have been reached beacuse you're a complete fanboy?

And this is what I have ultimatley discovered: The reason that Mac users think that Mac rocks, and that iTunes/iPhoto/iChat/iMovie is the best music/photo/IM/movie editing software ever, is because Steve told the Mac users that it is. It all comes bundled, it works well with other Apple products (well DUH!), and as long as you're happy to be told how to do things, you'll be completely happy. However, if you perhaps don't want to work within the tight framework of Steve Job's fandom, you're screwed. What if I'd like something other then the included templates on my web-based iPhoto slideshow? I CAN'T!! The Javascript that makes the trendy little reflective shelf under your photos lives on the .Mac servers, and is completely static. You can only choose what they tell you that you can choose. Not only that, but if you publish to somewhere besides .Mac, you don't get the trendy Javascript effects. Why? Well... that's a good question. Why would you make the prettyness specific to only .Mac? Unless of course paying for .Mac was built into your OS, and also into every single bundled application, and you weren't offered the choice of using a different service. That sounds a bit like... anti-trust... to me. I sure as heck don't see a "Select your web-based storage/publishing service" dropdown list. You see, "It just works" means "If you only use our services, and our software - exactly the way we say you will - and pay us money, things will work. Mostly. And we'll lock you out of using the trendy stuff anywhere else but on our products and services."

Anyway, this whole rant was spawned by the fact that I got abused by a client because I'd done some work for them in Filemaker (which is supposedly 100% cross-platform happy) and when I uploaded it to his server, some elements were just the tiniest bit out of alignment - but enough to make the whole thing fall over. Yay for cross-platform compatability hey.

*Because yes, Windows has 19/20ths of the market.

The Internet sees all

Due to a couple of not-fun things that have happened this morning, I was all fired up to get on my blog and have a little chat about my life, and in particular my current state of employment.

It was at this moment, that I realised that at least one of my colleagues has my blog address, and has read it on several occasions. In a small company, this would mean that if I said anything about how I was feeling about my job, I'd probably end up discussing it with my boss - not necissarily in a bad way, but in this particular case I'd prefer just to feel generally angsted about it, and then get over it on the weekend. Lets just say I'm my job satisfaction is having a bit of a trough at the moment for various reasons. Not the least of which is that non-work things are hard, and my company is under a little bit of presure to get through a largeish quantity of work, so I'm feeling the push to put work before things that work shouldn't go before.

Anyway - recovering from a rather nasty headcold that my whole family has experienced, so I'll leave it at this. More angst to follow, I promise.