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August 2, 2007

July Roundup

Lots of short items which I can't be bothered writing full posts for:

Prime TV is going to start screening Series 3 of Doctor Who on August 19th. You can read more about it here (I know the page layout sucks - I'm going to tidy it up on the weekend).

Blogger: Please add a bulk submittal version of your spam reporting tool, so I when I get spammed with 200 blogspot URLs, I can report all of them at once.

I believe the hacker who's been trying to hack into my site to be a Brazilian who goes by the handle Nicksom2d. One of the scripts used to try to hack in was located on a hacked site, with a main page title "Owned by Nicksom2d from Brazil". Nicksom2d also wrote there "I never really hated the stupids admins but I hate the admin that make a website and ignore all the possibilities of invasion, sometimes I would be a hacker... just it..." Word.

Stone Age, one of my favourite groups, has a new album out, Totems d'Armorique! And it's, like, almost totally different to their other albums.

The NZDWFC site had 7720 unique visitors last month, beating its previous best of 7624 set in May.

Apparently there are approximately four times more people searching for Transformers Robot Heroes than there are for Transformers slash. This proves Robot Heroes are better than sex.

The Bill Gates eyes program I made years ago on a whim got downloaded over a thousand times last month. No, I don't know why.

Three search queries of note used to find my site in July:

Posted at 11:25 PM | Comments (4)

July 18, 2007

Would you have survived in the middle ages?

Shamus asks Would you have survived in the middle ages?

I've actually considered this before. My main handicap would be my short-sightedness, but I can't think of anything to date which might have been life threatening enough to kill me had modern medicine not been there. Although I do wonder how people managed with short-sightedness before they invented glasses. Just bumped into things a lot, I guess, which might mean I'd have had a fatal accident by falling onto a trebuchet or something.

Posted at 10:06 PM | Comments (2)

June 3, 2007

Some random things

  • I attended the Conspiracy II convention yesterday. The convention is on all Queen's birthday weekend. Among the panels I went to were A History of New Zealand Science Fiction Comics: 1928-2007 and ESP 101. The first was very interesting, as I didn't know a hell of a lot about comics in NZ, outside those which appeared in the Listener and TSV. The latter turned out to be a practical workshop, where we rolled dice and attempted to use pendulums to detect coins hidden under books, and the contents of tin cans. I found I have no ESP ability whatsoever.
  • LiveJournal, last week, purged a whole pile of journals reported by a Neo-Nazi group for being paedophiles - many weren't and users were unhappy. Go figure.
  • Kiwi DW fanzine Reverse the Polarity is turning their web site into a blog. I got RTP issue 24 in the mail recently, and it was great!
  • As you may have noticed, the Tetrap picture on my weblog has changed. The new one was inspired by a similar image on the layout of a blog I saw on Blog Explosion (Write on Track, I think).

Posted at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 7, 2007

Dictionary definition quizlet

Seen on The World According to Allyn:

Alden --
A dance involving little to no clothing

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

However will I explain that to the grandkids

Posted at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2007

NZ government trying to emulate China

Recent issues of Aardvark have been about the blog CYFSWATCH, and more specifically about how the New Zealand government has been trying to get the blog shut down. Bruce Simpson compares this to the Chinese government censoring Google. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear if Google is going to capitulate to their demands or not...

As of now (25/01/2007 6pm) it's still up.

Posted at 5:44 PM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2007

Random updates to previous entries

I have a few ideas for entries, but they involve things I have to Get Around To, so here's an update entry:

Work continues apace on the Harvey Norman Center:
[Harvey Norman Centre]

They have some exterior walls on now!

The Foxwoods protest was apparently a bust - although twice as many people as usual called out, they were able to cover the shortfall. Bummer.

Xtra Broadband seems to have settled down speedwise, though now I keep having pages fail to load the first time I try them. Needs more work.

Posted at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2006

Mad at Foxwoods

Foxwoods Resort Casino is, according to its Wikipedia entry, the largest casino in the world and is extremely profitable for its owners, bringing in millions of dollars a day.

So why are their workers angry at them? Why are they cutting their worker's benefits and expecting them to work long hours and take few holidays? At the desperate employees are organising to stage a walkoutcallout. The guest book is full of outraged entries:

"anyone heard that new dealers have to sign paper saying they get no benefits (ever) & never fultime status- boy, thats fair. Wanna work here?"

"I am angry!!! I have been at foxwoods since I was a teenager and I am now in my 30s I have seen the way that things have gone from bad to worse! We are the lowest paid in the gaming industry. imagine living in an area that pays 25-35% more than what we ge-"

"My husband works as a valet attendant and the things I see and hear are awful. Tips being taken away for 90days right before christmas might I add. So many peak days, when he was sick he had to call out and lost tickets which is 40% of his pay for 90 da-"

Good luck to all of Foxwood's employees on their callout. I hope your employers sit up, take notice, and start treating you better.

Posted at 8:45 AM | Comments (12)

October 31, 2006

Psst, Xtra, your broadband SUCKS!

A couple of days ago, Xtra finally introduced uncapped broadband in New Zealand. Like a fool, I thought this would mean a better connection, but since switching I've had speeds only slightly better than dial up, and my connection keeps going dead for minutes at a time.

This sucks hard.

Empirical evidence

Posted at 4:37 PM | Comments (11)

October 17, 2006

Perl and NZ's government

Although I taught myself to write Perl a couple of years ago, I hadn't actually picked up a perl reference book until about a week ago when I started writing some Perl code at work. The upshot is that I now realise how dodgy some of the code is that I've been writing for my site in my spare time. :P

So in the spirit of making my code non-dodgy, last weekend I rewrote the NZDWFC page's search functionality almost completely. Surprisingly, I do this for fun...

The other topic I'm writing this entry about is one of the many silly things that the New Zealand government has been up to recently:

Since each political party needs to do campaigning, they're allocated taxpayer money to do it with. They're only allowed to spend a specific amount on campaigning, in order to keep things fair. All of the parties managed to overspend their budgets during the election last year and the Auditor General has slapped them all with bills for the amount they need to pay back.

The Labour party, which is currently in power, overspent the most and was slapped with a bill in excess of $800,000. So far they've come up with a few ideas on paying it back: public donations, and via the Labour MPs paying a portion of their pay packet towards it (though as mentioned on the news, they're up for another raise soon which will cancel it out anyway). However on tonight's news it was revealed that Labour is working on getting the law changed so their insane overspending is no longer illegal.

It must be great to be a politician. Not only do you get to change the rules if you don't like them, but you can even vote yourself a pay rise on the taxpayer.

Posted at 7:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

That's a biiig crane

I wish I had my decent camera, but here's a cellphone cam pic:

It was dismantalling the large static crane in the middle of the work site. The Mitre Ten Mega appears to be proceeding along fine...

Edit: Or the Harvey Norman Centre, as I've been corrected!

Posted at 6:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2006

Newsweek covers

Red Star Robot pointed out that Newsweek's website displays four international edition covers down the left hand side (you can see them at right - it's rearranged them to make them easier to post, but the image is linked to an unedited screen shot).

While the three non-US editions all show a fellow holding a rocket launcher with the headline "LOSING AFGHANISTAN", the US version shows a women and her three children with the headline "My life in pictures". Interesting difference in focus there...

[Newsweek covers]

Posted at 12:04 PM | Comments (2)

September 23, 2006

Another great parking job


When there's no parking spaces, be creative - use a traffic island!

Posted at 10:24 PM | Comments (3)

September 20, 2006

Complain like a Pirate

So yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate day and Livejournal celebrated by changing things on their site to be piratey themed, like a [info]user info head with an eyepatch. Because entering into the spirit of things is nice. But then there's always one who thinks this means "WE SUPPORT TERRORISTS". WTF?

I liked the suggestion that there should be a Talk Like a Ninja day (what do ninjas talk like?)

Posted at 9:12 PM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2006

Gender discrimination case

Blokes-only barber faces sex discrimination case

Swan Barbers says it has a policy of not cutting women's hair.

This infuriated student Maddy Drew who had been a loyal customer of Swan Barbers for five years. In May, everything changed when the barber, a woman, refused to cut Drew's hair.

"She said to me she couldn't serve me because I was a woman. She said it was company policy." ...

... It is an offence under the Human Rights Act to deny services to someone because of their race, colour, ethnic or national origin.

Drew's case will test the principle in terms of gender. Her sexual discrimination claim against Swan Barbers goes to mediation on August 24.

I completely agree it should be illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, however my question is: assuming her case succeeds, what will this mean for all of the women-only gyms? Will they be forced to allow men to join or face possible prosecution?

Posted at 6:41 PM | Comments (7)

July 25, 2006

Two things...

I stopped off at Pak'n Save to fill up with petrol on the way home today and discovered two things:

1/ The new hub caps I got were a bad move. The tiny holes in them make it practically impossible to check the tire pressure without actually removing the hub caps.

2/ One of my tires has a slow leak. It was down to 9 PSI!


Posted at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

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