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May 2009 Archives

May 29, 2009

Smoking up

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

According to a news story on TV3 news tonight, smoking rates are up, despite the government spending money on trying to encourage smokers to quit. Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Health, says that the government doesn't care about the revenue from tax on tobacco, as the health costs are outstripping revenue from same taxes.

But hey, then she's talking about increasing the taxes on tobacco to encourage people not to smoke. Because that worked sooooo well last time.

Here's an idea: BAN TOBACCO! If the government really doesn't care about the taxes from it, then ban the stuff.

Turia herself says in her speech that she wishes tobacco was a relic of the past, yet she doesn't seem to have considered making the stuff illegal at all - surely a vital first step.


Posted at 7:10 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2009

Slow news day?

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

Two of the stories on the front page of the Dominion Post are about how Palmerston North has an obscure bylaw which makes house numbering skip the number 13, and about how the winner of last weekend's Lotto jackpot bought Chinese takeaway for dinner.

I mean, kudos to whoever managed to spin the latter out to a couple of hundred words, but how did that make the front page? Are they trying to take our minds off the looming recession or something?

Posted at 7:53 AM | Comments (2)

May 8, 2009

Friday Night Movie: Star Trek 11

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Star Trek! As people who might have glanced at my LiveJournal know, I like Star Trek a bit. Apparently not as much as Moby does, but enough, I think...

There are no spoilers in this review, and I'm going to be fairly brief.

This is the best Star Trek movie since Undiscovered Country at least. It does New and Exciting things with the franchise, which frankly I'm glad about, as it was getting it bit stale in recent times. There were a few things which seemed to harken back to some of the earlier movies (is that vague enough for you?) and there were naturally lots of little nostalgic touches, mostly in the sound design, which made it feel enough like Old Trek that the fans were kept happy. The cast were great, the SFX were, as you'd expect, fantastic and hopefully we'll get a second movie.

I have a complaint though: why why why with the lighting? Seriously, it seemed like every few seconds there was a light shining directly at the camera or massive lens flare effects all over the picture. It almost felt at times like someone had the great idea that lens flares look really cool and stuff, so lets put them all over the movie and make it hard to look at anything for more than a few seconds.

Aieee! And I thought Michael Bay's constant shaky-cam during fight sequences was annoying.

Speaking of which, we got the latest Transformers 2 trailer before the film, and it looks even better on the big screen. June 24 cannot come fast enough.

Posted at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)

May 3, 2009

Shamus Young's Procedural City

Filed in: Links.

I've been following with interest Shamus Young's project to create a Procedural City. He's posted a video to his blog, which you can watch below and read a bit about the creation of in his latest post.

I was surprised at how well the effect works!

Posted at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2009

Wacky comment spammers

Filed in: Spam.

Seems for a long time I wasn't getting any comment spam. Probably the long gaps between updates were taking this blog off their radar. Anyway, I've gotten a few really curly ones in the last week or so from one guy who appears to be trying to spam domains similar to search engines. The spam comments generally look like:

Hi, I found your site using [domain close to search engine domain], does your site support [web browser]?

A day or so later, I got another one trying to give the impression it was a real person:

Hi, It's the second time i'm posting you without a reply. I found your site using [domain], does your site support [web browser]?

Gee, that's really annoying. They've also posted it to the NZDWFC forums a couple of times, but I've temporarily added "does your site support" to the spam filter - hopefully it won't crop up in any legitimate posts.

So far I can only only see google results for "does your site support firefox", none for Google Chrome (which they posted a comment about overnight), Opera, or Safari.

Meanwhile there's another spammer who's been posting comments with random strings of characters, but including no URL at all. Them spammers are crazy.

Posted at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)


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