Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for March 2001

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
31
Mar 01
Sat

3rd ODI – Aus v Ind

Australia collapsed and got slaughtered. Double damn.

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Nokia 6310

WHAT?!! Already?? Nokia already has an upgrade for the 6210, which only came out in Australia under 4 months ago. The 6310 will have Bluetooth, GPRS along with a host of other new features. Damn. That’s a phone I want…

Communal Crier

Moved
• White ‘Ty’ Affair

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May No More Be Said About…

All your base are belong to us… (Thanks to Vic for the link to this “definitive” guide)

Star Trek DS9: Waltz (Ep 6.11)

Waltz: [G. walzer, from walzen to roll, revolve, dance, OHG. walzan to roll; akin to AS. wealtan. See Welter.] A dance performed by two persons in circular figures with a whirling motion; also, a piece of music composed in triple measure for this kind of dance.

Such is titled a gripping episode which is as close to a psychological “thriller” as DS9 will get. The episode offers a fascinating glimpse into
one of the most complex and in my opinion, interesting characters of Trek – Gul Dukat.

Sisko is on the way to taking the post-therapy Dukat (traumatised recently by the loss of his daughter and the rule of the Cardassian empire) when they get attacked by the Dominion. A crash landing sees the two stranded upon a planet, with Sisko injured and almost immobile. Why didn’t Dukat kill Sisko given the chance? Ah, that is the question, and so begins the “waltz”. A waltz of words, that is.

Dukat, overseer of The Occupation in its final years, has always claimed to have tried for a “softer rule”, to try to help the Bajorans. However, the Bajoran resistance movement, having already endured 40 years of tyrannical rule, are in no mood to desist and give up. Of course, Dukat must punish the resistance for their crimes, and the Bajorans do not see the resultant executions as a “softer rule”. Dukat, however, believes that the executions are fair (one Cardassian life for one Bajoran), and in a way, that much is true.

Dukat’s motivations are revealed in time. He regards himself as a misunderstood dictator – a kind, benevolant ruler who only did the things he did because his superiors ordered it, and the Bajorans necessitated it through acts of terrorism. He wants Sisko to see that – as he puts it, he wants Sisko to admit he respects him. Which is ultimately a deluded goal (Sisko, I’m sure would rather die), fittingly for Dukat, who is a deluded person. Voices in his head are cleverly portrayed as personae from influences in his life – Kira, Damar, and Weyoun – who taunt, goad and prompt him.

What’s troubling is that Dukat makes a convincing case. However, there is one major undermining flaw in his argument, and one which Sisko cunningly exploits. Dukat believes that Cardassians were “obviously the superior race” being hundreds of years ahead of Bajorans in every respect. If they had just accepted this fact, the occupation could have been a lot more peaceful. Naturally, this is bigotism. I’m sure the Jews objected just as strongly to the Nazi regime as the Bajorans did – it is virtually the same set of circumstances (although the Jews were in a much worse position).

Waltz builds up the tempo until Dukat explodes in a furious rage, admitting his deep seated hatred for Bajorans – screaming that he should have killed every last one of them. Was this hate always there? Or did it develop during his period of administration? Hard to say.

Nonetheless, a blow to the head and an absolutely brutal kick to the kneecap later (delivered to Dukat from Sisko), and Dukat is once more loose in the galaxy (albeit with a bad limp!).

The episode was an engrossing psychologically charged one, devoting one full hour to delving into the mind of a megalomaniac. It did resolve one thing, though – we’ve finally conclusively established that Dukat – despite his justifications and reasons otherwise – is an evil man.

The Exorcist: Director’s Cut

Yeah entertaining I guess. Haven’t seen the original.

One of the pre-show trailers was for Antitrust. It was released in the States in January, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. Looks interesting (an IT buff’s film?) but I’m sure Hollywood’s glamourisation of the IT world will lead many geeks to condemn the show for its implausibilities and inaccuracies. Even with that in mind, I still reckon it’s a film I would enjoy and I intend to see it.

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Tomorrow is April Fools Day

The Moon Landing was a hoax! Not. (I have a friend who seriously believes that…)

The Hopoate Video

John Hopoate, disgraced Wests-Tigers footy player, was suspended for a year for sticking his fingers up the assholes of other players while on the field. I reckon everyone’s seen it, but have another look anyhow (2MB). Man, he is deranged.

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Two Webmonkey Articles

Creating AvantGo graphics with PHP.
The Telecommunter’s Toolkit (slightly old).

Nepal

If you haven’t heard yet, three Aussies were killed in an Avalanche in Nepal a week or so back. A large article appeared in the News Review section of today’s SMH. The trekkers were walking along a part of the Annapurna circuit on their way to the Annapurna Base Camp, as part of  acclimatisation for an Everest summit attempt (the human body must take time to adjust to differing atmospheric conditions above 3000m). The way the media initially reported the incident was, I suppose, typical sensationalism. Hiking in Nepal was made to seem somewhat perilous and authorities “justifying” the accident cited that it was a “freak event”. I trekked through the Annapurna area at the start of last month and the trails are certainly not as dangerous as the media has it. Scores of tourists hike along the tracks every day, some with small children (which although seems strange, is not unusual). Our guide for our trek had guided people as young as 7 (with their parents) to as old as 73. The recent SMH article goes back to look at the initial reports and how valid they were – as a result, its account is closer to the truth. I bought a map of the Annapurna Conservation Area in Pokhara, and the place the 3 Aussies were hiking through that fateful day is a clearly marked as an Avalanche area. Avalanches happen there with regularity – they are not freak events – especially in Spring when the snow starts to melt (even in Winter, temperatures rise to the twenties Celsius, as the sun beats strongly down on the mountains). While there is no doubt that hiking is indeed dangerous, deaths are relatively scarce given the vast amounts of tourists who hike each year. Furthermore, the Aussies were walking without a guide. Although this is done by quite a few people (we ran into a few during our trek), there is no substitute for the years of regional experience a guide will have – it literally could be lifesaving. There’s always risk in things like this, but it’s not as bad as the media makes it to be.

Sidenote: Annapurna is a region of the Himalayas a few hundred kilometers West of Kathmandu, the capital. Everest is in another region, a few hundred kilometers to the East.

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22
Mar 01
Thu

MIR

Lives for a couple more hours only – track its descent.

21
Mar 01
Wed

Games

Also referred by Vic was Typing of the Dead… like House of the Dead 2 in the arcades, but replace the gun with a keyboard and speed-shooting turns into speed-typing.

Another game… Maelstrom. Anyone who went to Pine Bluff and was in 9SC1 (way back in 1994) will remember this game, originally for the Mac. Addictive. Thanks to Shish!

E-bay Auction

Quick, before it’s too late. Thanks Vic!

Moot Point of the Day

Was taking a leak when my mind went for a wander. It came to rest on school kids asking their teachers whether they could go to the toilet – in particular, the following exchange:

Student: [Waves hand in air] Can I go to the toilet?
Teacher: Yes. You can go to the toilet… but whether you may, is another matter.
Student: *Sigh*, OK, may I go to the toilet?
Teacher: No.

What is the difference between may and can? Let’s turn to the good ol’ Macquarie dictionary.

may: it is used to express: a. possibility, opportunity, or permission: You may enter

Fair enough – since asking a teacher about emptying your bladder is a request, may is used correctly. But…

can: to be able to; have the ability, power, right, knowledge, qualifications or means to: You can lift the box

Why does one ask the teacher? To be granted permission to leave for the toilet. Without permission, you have the ability and knowledge to take a leak, but you do not have the right or permission to do so. Thus, you can’t in fact go to the toilet because the totalitarian nature of school deems that the teacher must give you permission to physically move from your seat to the bathroom. Asking whether you can go is verifying whether you have the right to go off and piss. Thus, it is used correctly.

To put it succinctly, teachers who say “You can go to the toilet, but whether you may…” are ignorants spewing shit.

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Cricket (IND v AUS)

Not looking good. :/

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19
Mar 01
Mon

Communal Crier

New
• Enigmous
• The Daily Bot

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Mm.

Had the housewarming last Friday night. Carpet got Christened by a red wine spill (thanks Josh :) but apart from that it was good. Ikea ran out of stock of dining table chairs so basically the apartment has two chairs in it. I borrowed about 10 chairs from friends for the housewarming so people had a place to sit but what happened? Everyone sat on the floor leaving a whole lot of empty chairs. Why do I bother?

It’s Week 4 of uni and I finally decided that it might be a good idea to buy my textbooks. Got to the bookstore and all 4 books I was after had sold out. Oops.

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All Your Base Are Belong To Us

Ok thanks to all who sent in an explanation. It’s basically a phrase badly translated from Japanese to English that features in an old game. Someone found it amusing, and it spread. View the flash file here.

Reproduction

When I was in Nepal, we went to the Royal Chitwan National Park. Basically a wildlife jungle-type environ, the most prominent photo used to advertise the park to tourists was one where two elephants are going at it. The male proboscis is clearly visible (and nicely proportioned too) and there’s even a crazy Nepali elephant driver riding on top of the male elephant. Anyhow, something about two animals having sex always draws human interest.

Compact Code

RSA Encryption in 2 Lines of Perl. DVDs Decrypted in 7 Lines of Perl.

Wizardry VIII

Some Russian dude reviewed a preview of Wizardry 8. I thought Sir-Tech went broke… obviously not, which is good to hear. I grew up on the old Wizardry series of CRPGs. In fact, Wizardry I was the first RPG I ever finished. Ah, memories…

13
Mar 01
Tue

Communal Crier

New
• Hot Mud
• The Lonely Highway
• This is a Cry For Help

Moved
• Absolute Zero

Damn Nigerians…

Column 8 has been reporting news for some time now about Nigerians faxing offers just like the one below. I got this one in the e-mail. Yeah, right… I wonder if anyone has ever been gullible enough to fall for it?

FROM: MRS MARIAM ABACHA
C/O Idris Abacha

ATTN: MD/CEO

RE: REQUEST FOR MUTUAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION

I am by introduction, Mrs. Mariam Abacha widow of the late Nigerian Military Head of State Late Gen. Sani Abacha.  Perhaps it is no longer News the confiscating of large business interest of the Abacha’s family, despite the death of my Husband in a mysterious circumstances in office.

Apparently worried by the immeasureable intimidation and Harrasement on my family by Government Security Agents, the Government has freezed various Bank Accounts Believed to Have been operatedby my Late Husband and Family while in office as the then Head of Government of Nigeria.

Our family you may want to know have been Dehumanised in such a manner that I can no longer provide for the up keep of the family and Dependant, having been stripped of our family Hard Earnings by the present Government in Nigeria.

Consequent to the above, My son Idris and I have resolved to Act swifly in the retrieving of the Eighty Million United States Dollars (US$80m). Secretly kept in the vault of a Private Security Company outside the shores of Nigeria by my Late Husband.

We hope to Expedite Action on this matter to Guide Against any possibility of Trace By the Government since this is the only surviving money left for me to get the family going. Importantly, this money was Airlifted in three (3)Boxes and Deposited with the Security firm as JEWELLERIES, ART &ANTIQUITIES” AND VALUES AT THE ABOVE AMOUNT.

Communication however have been reopened between us (The Abacha’s Family) and the Security firm on the need to raise the “Certificate of Deposit in your favour to enable you take Delivery or Possession of the Luggage in their custody since we the Abacha’s family have been placed under Security Watch and Restriction from making outside trips.  Regardless of the Security Survellance, my son or I may have to sneak out of the country through the Border post to meet with you when and then you must Have concluded your travel plans to visit the Security Company for the said purpose.

Remember you will be required to open an Account with a Local Bank for the initial lodgement of the US$60M. Thereafter, you can then start recalling the money instalmentally into your Nominated Account Overseas for the necessary Disbursement. Finally, my family and I is offering you 30% of the Total Sum above while my family takes home 70% if this offer is unacceptable to you, please do not hesistate to State your position.

You can also contact Idris on the security telephone number 234-1-7756390 which I exclusively arranged, for this project. I look forward to your kind consideration and co-operation on the above matter.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Mariam Abacha.
C/O Idris Abacha.

Hahaha

Got this in the e-mail recently from Kyle:

This is what makes me very proud to be Australian, brilliant, but simple ideas like this! The beer bitch, what a truly fantastic concept, and one that is sure to be nominated for a Nobel prize. A few red blooded Aussie boys went to the Brisbane test to watch Oz vs WI a couple of weeks ago. They decided that it would be too good a game to waste lining up in queues for food / beer etc, so they contacted a local escort agency and hired a beer wench for the day (4hrs @ $50/hr).

The request was for a girl with big tits to come to the cricket in skimpy gear, and be on call to go fetch food or drink as required during the days play.

USB Mobile Phone Charger

Just what the title says.

Someone tell me…

Where did the phrase “all your base are belong to us” originate from? I’ve been away for too long…

Plug

My cousin is selling his car. He wanted a plug, so here it is. It’s for a fully modded Eunos 30X. (As a sidenote, you can describe a custom-built computer in much the same way that car is described…)

Glow In The Dark Watches

You know how some watches have glow-in-the-dark hands and dials? Until recently, watch companies have been using fluorescent paint mixed with radioactive Tritium. (And before that, Radium, until they found it wasn’t too good for one’s health.) Watches that have tritium in them are marked with two “T”s on the dial. Read about it. Tritium, as a pure beta-emitter does not have very much penetrating power and thus is not a health threat. However, Tritium does have half-life that means its effectiveness in making the paint glow decreases over time. Companies like Omega now use other non-radioactive compounds which do not degrade over time.

8
Mar 01
Thu

G’day! S’good to be back…

I’m back to regular posting now. The past weeks have been busy. On the university front, UNSW replaced their enrolment system with a new one that is all done online. It would have been great, if it worked properly – system errors are everywhere. Anyway, that was all one big headache. On the home front, well, I’ve moved away from home. I’m now living in an apartment much closer to uni (5 minutes walk, as opposed to a 2 hour commute). We’ve been moving up furniture and stuff up from Camden and there’s still things to be installed. A phone line, for instance. Telstra, ineffectual company that it is, told me it would take 10 days to get a phone line reconnected to the apartment. Hence, no net access. Did I also mention that ADSL and Cable are not available here? I am severely pissed off. I move into the city and find that I still can’t get broadband. Telstra, move your fat ass and at least ADSL enable the local exchange! On the work front, I’ve got some work. Goodness knows, I am broke after that round the world 11 week trip and I need to pay off a lot of things for this new apartment. Luckily, I only have a 3-day uni week, so I’ve got a bit of spare time. On the web front, I am writing up a big diary of the trip. Three of us got our photos back last Thursday. Between us we had 57 rolls, over 1500 photos, and it cost us $500 to develop (add in Yvonne’s photos and we shot over 2000 snaps). The poor girl at the pharmacy had her work cut out for her when we rocked up with our bagload of film canisters. I’ve got a lot of scanning to do. I may be back to regular posting, but it may take a little while to get back into the groove.

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