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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This blog has moved 

This blog has now moved to it's new home over at samuelgordonstewart.com

You can still see the archives from this site by clicking on the relevant month on the right.

All existing and future posts are now over at the new site.

Samuel

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Moving... 

I'm going to start moving this blog over to samuelgordonstewart.com now, I will keep the archives here, but there may be some temporary downtime in the process.

Samuel

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

SBS presents Yes Or No...Or Maybe 

I don't know how many of you watch the SBS program, World Sport, but I do on occasion, and I was doing so tonight. They had a story about doping allegations and cyclist Lance Armstrong, apparently it has been semi-proven that he is a drug cheat. SBS then followed that story with their nightly "World Sport SMS Poll". I don't remember the exact question, but it was something along these lines:
"Were you surprised by the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong or have they proven your suspicions?"
After this, viewers are invited to send an SMS containing "Yes" or "No" to some phone number that I don't remember.

But hang on a moment, can you repeat the question?
"Were you surprised by the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong or have they proven your suspicions?"
Errr, isn't that actually two questions? Which one do you want an answer to? I could quite happily say "No" the allegations didn't surprise me, and "Yes" they have proven my suspicions...but I can't send "No Yes" and expect my vote to be counted.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but World Sport recently changed their wallpaper to a rather eye-exploding "semi-return to the mid 80's tango redish orange desert pattern safari", looks worse when they show the set from a distance too, it looks like a few cans of paint exploded.

Is it just me, or are SBS trying to dumb down their usage of the English language in an attempt to avoid alienating the mainstream commercial television audience?
For example, they have introduced a new name for an existing show, which to me at least, appears to be an oxymoron.
"World News Australia"
Excuse me? Whatever happened to "World News" & "World News Tonight"? Why has our multicultural broadcaster suddenly decided that all news in the world revolves around Australia? Perhaps it is half of a badly edited statement:
"Good evening and welcome to the world news, Australia."
Perhaps SBS think that more people want to watch a news that has the word "Australia" in the title. (Well, check the ratings, people seem to like it if it says "Seven" or "Nine").
Maybe SBS think the world is too big for one half hour.
Or maybe, just maybe, SBS have gone mad.

Whatever the reason is, SBS do seem to be going downhill.
I blame it all (mostly) on the fact that they are cost cutting. They cut those fantastic movie intros from their (then) movie buffs David & Margaret. SBS had themes for each night of the week, and a different presenter for that night's movie, somebody who specialised in that particular genre of movie. It wasn't just David & Margaret either, they had a rather talented bunch. I will always remember those Saturday night cult movies, they were often pretty bad sci-fi/fantasy combinations, but they did have a certain charm to them after an intro from the cult movie presenter. One of the many movie series' I will remember is Gamera, the Japanese lizard dragon monster thing (possibly a copy of Godzilla) which could never seem to make up it's mind whether it was helping or destroying the humans, but it always had a small boy as a friend and always seemed to encounter a "Toy monster Vs Model boat" scene.

I also remember a time when SBS was the central repository for the cream of international (mainly European) primetime entertainment, buying the rights to many varied and interesting TV shows. It would be common place to get strange looks for talking about that "fantastic Norwegian show that aired every week" but everybody, it seemed, had a guilty pleasure in watching at least one of those shows.

Those days are gone however, and now SBS try to style themselves on the ABC "Tonight, lots of documentaries" and the generic SBS "Let's throw in some more soccer, inane shows with explosions (ooooh, ratings) and adult programming from sweeden".

It is unfortunate to see SBS degenerate to such forms of entertainment, and I fear they are producing further cost cutting by buying the rights to the cricket. Seven could have continued the cricket, they did a good job (apart from Tony Squires), or the ABC, but not SBS. The shoestring budget has been stretched, and I fear SBS are going to continue to show programs filled with lunatics blowing stuff up just to prove they can't do what you saw in that movie, more of those drastic wallpaper changes on the local shows, more documentaries that nobody is really interested in seeing, and more of those Swedish/German/somewhere late night adult programs.

I say bring back the gold old SBS that we had years ago...and scrap The Movie Show, the idiots on there now wouldn't know a film from a canary.

Anyway, to get back to the main topic of discussion, I will be making sure that I record World Sport tomorrow night to see two things:
1. Will they reword the question and make a nonsense of the answers between now and then?
2. What will the ultimate confused outcome of this ludicrous poll be?
After recording I will take a screenshot and post it here for you all to admire!

Samuel

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New Domain Name 

It would appear that I will be moving this blog soon as I have just bought the domain name samuelgordonstewart.com

There isn't anything there yet, but there will be soon. I must say though, the hosting company have an interesting statement about custom error pages in their online manual:
Custom error pages that are smaller than 10k in size will not display properly in Internet Explorer. Insert a large amount of text into a comment to create the required size.

Oh thankyou great code monkeys at Microsoft, if I want my error pages to work in your "browser" I have to perform a file bloat....well thankyou sooo much.

Samuel

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Samuel's Musician Of The Week 

This week my musician of the week award goes to Neil Diamond, and the feature song that he sung is Kentucky Woman, which I think suits him...hopefully you know what I mean, as that last sentence a far too many incorrect meanings. Basically I think that Kentucky Woman is a song which suits his singing style and shows him as a great performer, and so it should, he wrote it after all.

Kentucky Woman
She shines with her own kind of light
She look at you once in a day
That's all wrong looks all right
And I love her
God knows I love her

Kentucky Woman
If she get to know you
She goin’ to own you
Kentucky Woman

Well, she ain't the kind
Make heads turn at the drop of her name
But something inside
That she's got turns you on just the same
And She loves me
God knows She loves me

Kentucky Woman
If she get to know you
She goin’ to own you
Kentucky Woman

I don't want much
The good Lord's earth beneath my feet
A gentle touch
From that one girl and life is
Sweet and good
There ain't no doubt
I'm talking about

Kentucky Woman
If she get to know you
She goin' to own you
Kentucky Woman

I don't want much
The good Lord's earth beneath my feet
A gentle touch
From that one girl and life is
Sweet and good
There ain't no doubt
Hey, I'm talking about

Kentucky Woman
If she get to know you
She goin' to own you
Kentucky Woman

Kentucky Woman
Kentucky Woman

Samuel

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Schnappi slips to 8th 

Unfortunately, Schnappi has slipped two positions to be 8th on the ARIA singles chart this week. It is unfortunate in my mind because it is the only thing on there that I like.

Samuel

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Samuel on Australian Independent Radio News 

I am now working with Australian Independent Radio News (AIR News), presenting news bulletins on Saturdays. I presented my first three bulletins yesterday (11am-1pm) and will now be presenting the 11am-5pm bulletins on Saturdays.
AIR News LogoI'm not going to put any of my bulletins online at the momentbecause
A) I haven't got anywhere to put a file at the moment
B) A isn't exactly true, I could fill up servers I'm not supposed to fill, but I won't
C) Copyright issues are funny little tricky things to work with
D) I don't want to be unfair on AIR News member stations who have paid for these bulletins
I will put ONE bulletin online eventually, but it will be at least a week after it airs, and will be after I have bought some webspace. If you want to hear one of my bulletins before then, tune in to one of the member stations, or, if you are out of their coverage area, email me.

Anyway, I'm enjoying it. It is an interesting and valuable experience, and I hope to be doing it for some time to come.

While I'm at it, if you know of any Australian community or blackspot commercial radio stations that could use a reliable and cost-effective hourly news service, then let them know about AIR News, it has, in at least one circumstance, prompted people to join as members of the radio stations. AIR News offers a free trial so there really isn't anything to lose.

You could call this shameless self promotion, but that is not my motive. I'm just trying to spread the word about a quality service.

Also while I'm at it, a very big thankyou to Artie Stevens, manager of AIR News, is in order, as he has provided me with this fantastic opportunity, thanks Artie!

Samuel

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Congratulations Kelly Underwood 

Radio 3AW's Kelly Underwood became the first female footbal caller in the country today after co-commentating the last quarter of the Essendon V Carlton AFL match this afternoon. It wasn't exactly an exciting match, with Essendon beating Carlton 28.14.182 to 11.17.83 (If you're not Australian that probably doesn't mean much to you, but it is a huge win), but Kelly still did a fantastic job and deserves her place in history.

Well done Kelly!

3AW's AFL coverage can be heard on the web from their website, in Melbourne on 3AW (1278 AM), in Canberra on 2CA (1053 AM), and a bunch of other stations right around Australia.

Samuel

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Rewilding The American Elephant 

If you have ever been sitting in a New York hotel room and wish you had gone to Africa instead, then you visited New York to early.
It would appear that scientists want to "rewild" animals such as Cheetahs, Lions and Elephants by releasing them in america. They argue that it would help to prevent them from becoming extinct in Africa, they also claim that the long lost semi-blood ancestors of many of these animals once roamed the North American continent.

Now, it might just be me, but an encounter with a Lion at a busy intersection isn't my idea of fun...and I'm sure that the Americans don't want an elephant stampede to run across the freeway in peak hour.

If you think about it, there have been lengthy debates about saving native American species, and some previous attempts at relocating various species have been dismal failures.

I'm not saying don't save the Elephant, Cheetah, Lion, etc. I'm just saying, don't make a whole new species. The world doesn't need an American elephant, and the freeways don't need lions.

It's not quite the same thing, but I suspect somebody has watched the fiirst half-hour of Jurassic Park a few too many times....to that person, watch the rest of the movie and see what happens, you should also watch Jumanji which will give you a pretty good insight into the workings of wild animals in urban areas, no matter what your doctorate tells you, they won't be playing cards and smoking cigars. I can guarantee that you'll rethink your insane idea...unless your brain isn't useful, which could very well be the case with an idea like that.

American Elephant? Nah, I'll pass...

Samuel

Comments:
They should start by 'saving' their native American Indians before they worry about animals !
 
Yes, and they should also consider the impact that lions, cheetahs and elephants will have on the ecosystem...unless they are aiming to destroy the existing diversity.

And yes, the native human problems are more important than the foreign animal problems.
 
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Friday, August 19, 2005

This planet is interesting at times. 

In case you are looking for a job, Tree Of Life in the Canberra Centre are advertising for an "Acting Assistant Manager", yes, you read it correctly, an "Acting Assistant Manager".

Now, to my mind, somebody who is acting in a role is simply filling the role of somebody who has retired or gone on leave...acting is an internal pseudo-promotion, not an actual job.....I suppose that Tree Of Life could be preparing to produce a film...are they going to pay the "Acting Customers"???

I've just found the feedback form on their website, I might ask them what they think an "Acting Assistant Manager" is. Interestingly, none of the other jobs are "acting" positions.

Whilst we are talking about the civic area, tonight a woman was standing outside Supabarn and took a photo of the checkout...a minute later she took a photo of Baker Delight, causing much hysterical laughter amongst the staff there...don't ask me what the photos were in aid of, it just seemed rather odd to me...and the surrounding people.

In a nearby apartment block, somebody has somehow managed to put a shopping basket on top of a lightpost...I don't know and I don't want to know how they did it (well, maybe I'm a little curious), but I would like to know why they did it....maybe they'll build a shop around it....who knows...

All these things serve one purpose....keep the planet interesting!

Samuel

Comments:
I sent the following to Tree Of Life:
"Hi,
I was walking past your Civic store in Canberra and noticed the ad for an "Acting Assistant Manager".

What exactly is an "Acting" Assistant Manager...I can understand the "Assistant Manager" part, but the "Acting" part makes no sense at all.

Somebody who is acting in a role is simply filling the role of somebody who has retired or gone on leave...acting is an internal pseudo-promotion, not an actual job...are you perhaps going to film a movie? If so, can I be paid for being an "Acting Customer?"

Thanks,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra"

 
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Welcome 2CC Listeners 

Welcome fellow 2CC listeners, you will find various comments, drawings and photos from myself and others here. Most of it belongs to me, some of the comments belong to others. And my crocodile writings are below.

In case you were listening to my conversation with Mike Jeffreys this morning and you are wondering what this "riot act" thing is that Mike mentioned, clicking here will take you there.

Enjoy!

Samuel

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Somebody likes Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Well, I've always liked it, and I know some other people that do to, but now I have official confirmation that Jim Goar from Can Of Corn likes Samuel In Dolgnwot, describing it as "high grade cartoons".

I must say I'm flattered, I never really thought my drawings were "high grade", I always liked them, but I never thought an outsider (somebody who isn't me) would like them that much.

With the support I am receiving for the Samuel In Dolgnwot series, I might just have to draw another series, maybe.

Samuel

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Does shooting a crocodile brings it's dinner back to life? 

I don't think so, and seeing as Barry Jeffries, the latest croc victim, isn't alive I think it is proven.

So then, why do Queensland Parks & Wildlife insist on shooting a crocodile that is suspected of being the one that ate Mr Jeffries? I think it might be a propogranda campaign...perhaps they think that by shooting a croc, the rest of them will become terrified of humans and won't try and eat them again...maybe...haven't seen any proof of it working though.

To be fair though, the water hole that Mr. Jeffries was canoeing in was croc infested, and if a croc is hungry and sees "Floating human in a container" at the top of it's territory, what do you expect it to do...call the local takeaway?

I just don't see the point in shooting this crocodile, they have no proof that it is the right croc, and it's not going to prove anything (excepct perhaps that QLD P&W are gun mad lunatics who need to shoot stuff), apart from which, surely it is the croc's territory, not ours, and when we enter the territory of hungry wild animals we are taking our lives in our own hands.

Just imagine for one moment, it is 4pm and you are in a bank, their was a robbery at this bank at 10am and they have since reopened, the police arrive and arrest you for being the bank robber and their only proof is that you are in the bank at a later time, you wouldn't be very happy would you?

QLD P&W have done the same thing, they have shot a croc which was in the same waterhole at a later time, yet, just like a bank which is "human infested", the water hole is "croc infested" by QLD P&W's own admission...the more I think about this the more I think QLD P&W are gun mad lunatics who feel a need to shoot stuff....I have one sentence of advice for those planning a Queensland holiday....don't take the crocodile suit!

Samuel

Comments:
Turns out you were justified in all this Sam. I heard on the news today that no human remains were found in the croc they shot, so they were going to keep on looking and shooting.
K
 
Now, I don't know the people or circumstances, and I highly doubt that it is the case, but in theory, it would be possible to get away with murder like this...it seems that you claim somebody was eaten, and the story ends there.

I suppose the question is now, how many crocs are they willing to shoot?
 
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Monday, August 15, 2005

Is City News The Worst Newspaper In The Country? 

Quite possibly the answer is yes.
Without a doubt, City News is the worst newspaper in Canberra. In fact, it is hardly fair on the newspaper industry to call City News a newspaper, in truth it is a glorified freely-distributed glossy advertorial nonsense device.

Lets take a look at a typical City News edition. It is divided into three sections, City News, Canberra Review and City Property.

The news section is really just a bunch of press releases and ads that are presented as news stories. It often features an unimportant story about a beauty competition, the colour of the City Hill flagpole or some other related nonsense, which is almost always derived from a press release. The only semi-substantial component of the news section is the editorial by some anonymous person calling themselves "The Whip", who "Doesn't necessarily represent the views of the paper" and generally provides a fairly generic semi-relevant rubbishing of the news.

The second section, "The Canberra Review" is a fairly bland commentary on the upcoming artistic events of the week. It is filled with press releases and reviews by people who really don't seem to know what they are talking about.

The third section is an upside down (literally) section about Canberra real estate. It contains stories about whatever expensive properties are up for sale in Red Hill and surrounds (which seem to be written by the real estate agents), and a bunch of real estate ads. In this case, "bunch" means multiple pages of nothing but real estate ads.

Over time, City News has had a range of dismal columns by exceptionally boring people on topics that don't matter or don't appear to interest the writer, they all seem to have failed, possibly because the writer bored themselves, or City News sold the space to advertisers. Either way, it was dismal.

In fairness, the competition aren't exactly brilliant either. The Canberra Times has gone downhill since Rural Press bought them. Editor Jack Waterford has tried to maintain some credibility, but has ultimately failed. The Canberra Times has really lost the plot, it's local news is fairly poor, and it's coverage of national and international news...well...buy The Australian...you won't find much of use in The Canberra Times.

For a broadsheet, The Canberra Times is fairly disappointing...so much paper, so little content, what a pity.

The Chronicle is the local tabloid weekly and a subsiduary of The Canberra Times, it is distributed to homes all over Canberra and surrounds for free, and is very good at covering major local stories in detail. Unfortunately, it only covers a handful of newsworthy stories, preferring snippets and "Who won gardener of the week!" type stories. The Chronicle manages to fill most pages with ads, gardening tips, and recipes. Good reading when you are bored, not very good for news though.

I can't honestly think of a worse newspaper than City News, it doesn't seem to have any particular purpose. For local news you have The Chronicle, for national and international news you could buy The Canberra Times, but you would be better off with The Australian. If you want to waste time, well, City News is good for that!

City News is without a doubt the worst newspaper in Canberra, and probably the nation.

Now, somebody is surely going to ask me "If you think all these newspapers are bad, then where do you get your news from?"
I'm glad you asked, I generally have the radio tuned to Talk Radio 2CC at various times throughout the day, which provides me with most of my news, I also get some news from The RiotACT, ABC Online and Google News.

Perhaps one day these newspapers will get better, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Samuel

Comments:
In the August 18,2005 edition of City News, there is a very attractive Afro looking woman on the cover of "The Canberra Review" ( allegedly in the cast of "Carmen", which is coming to the Canberra Theatre),but after reading the "Carmen sizzles" section, the only female names mentioned are Tania Ferris and Judith Dodsworth, and neither of those is the woman on the front cover ! It seems the Afro lady has NOTHING to do with the Canberra production of "Carmen" !
So,I might ask the question -- WHO IS IT ? ..... and ....What sort of Mickey Mouse 'news magazine' is CityNews ???????
 
I'll have to have a look when it eventually fins it's way to my letterbox. Thanks for pointing it out John, I wouldn't have spotted it because I wouldn't have bothered to read it (go back a month and I might have).
 
"fins" = "finds"

Another reason to move to WordPress, I can edit my comments to corrct spelling mistakes.
 
Ok Samuel .... I'd LOVE to know who that Afro lady is .... As for the typo ... don't worry about it - (it happens all the time on the Net ) lol !
 
The picture in the "Carmen Sizzles" article has three women, one of them is hiding behind the bloke who looks like he is in the middle of an operatic tantrum, she is probably the closest match based on the hair (which is all I can see of her) but ultimately that cover photo doesn't seem to have any relevance to anything. It is the picture from the Canberra Theatre Centre website, but it is still unclear who the mystery woman is.

I'm slightly more concerned about the City News cover, have the ACT Government spent $1500+ to tell us how wonderful & "enthusiatic" the director of the ACT Department of Education and Training is?
 
Note, City News can spell "Enthusiastic" which is more than I can say for myself.
 
Yes, that's her on the Canberra Theatre Website. It looks like the Canberra Theatre are the culprits, and City News just printed a picture of what was given to them .
That woman is NOT in the Canberra Theatre production ! How dare they mislesd the public by using her photo !
 
Perhaps you should buy a ticket and then demand a refund afterwards because you went to see her and she wasn't there.
(And I ain't responsible if they don't provide a refund)
 
That would be one way ... but I think I may report them to the Universal Nation of Zulus for misrepresenting a sistah !
 
Fair enough...sounds reasonable.
 
Ok ...I called the Canberra Theatre, and they told me that the woman is a (nameless) model supplied by an Agency. She has absolutely nothing to do with the stage show !
(I think it's downright misleading ! ) . John B1_B5
 
The world is going mad!
I strongly suspect that the Canberra Theatre are profiteering...nobody wants to see their little play, so they make it look like some model will be in it to boost the ticket sales, sad and pathetic.
 
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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Schnappi continues to climb 

The latest ARIA singles chart has been released, and Schnappi has climbed another three places to be 6th.

During the week I heard a group of people walking along singing Schnappi!

Samuel

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Samuel's Musicians Of The Week 

This week's award goes to Credence Clearwater Revival.

I can remember quite clearly a few nights when I was listening to Radio 2CA when they went off air and the backup tape kicked in with "Bad Moon Rising", but it often got cut off after a few seconds and started from the beginning all over again (blasted computer noise), this happened on quite a few nights, and hearing the first few bars, followed by silence, followed by the first few bars, more silence, half the song, silence, the first few bars and more silence and then the whole song and half the next song, followed by silence and then this song again did get quite irritating.

Suprisingly though, it has become one of my favourite songs, and so I have chosen it to be the featured song for this week's Musicians Of The Week, Credence Clearwater Revival.

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightning.
I see bad times today.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

All right!
Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Well, we have reached the double image finale of Samuel In Dolgnwot.
With the gold supply in Dolgnwot having run out, Samuel decides it is time to return to his home in Canberra in his futuristic truck.

Here, for the first time, we see his truck in it's entirety. At the front (left) is the driver's cabin, followed by the gold storage container, the gold digging and sorting machine, the living quarters and the horses living quarters. The horse is of course visible in the first and second episodes of Samuel In Dolgnwot.

The second image shows the teacher (Mrs. Brophy) left a tick on the accompanying page, which is a very good way to end the series.

Clicking on the pictures will show a larger version, you can also find them on the photo gallery.

Samuel's Artwork will take a short break now and will return in a few days with new and exciting pictures.

Samuel

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Today we have the second last episode in the Samuel In Dolgnwot series

In recent days, the amount of gold that people were able to find was getting smaller and smaller, and today the newspaper reports that there is no gold left. Naturally Samuel isn't terribly pleased about this, but he spends some time deciding what to do.

Tommorow we have a special double image finale to the Samuel In Dolgnwot series.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Alrighty then, another episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot
Today sees the return of the working pens, yep no more pencils, as I recall the black pen ran out of ink, and it took me a few days to get some more pens.

On this particular day, Samuel visits the assay office with the masses of gold he has collected, and just happens to find a rather high gold-to-money conversion rate. A little bit later on, his mum drops by to congratulate him.

It looks like Samuel left his arms at home today.

We are now 2 episodes away from finishing the Samuel In Dolgnwot series.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No 

The title explains the answers.
When I plugged in my flash drive a few moments ago, I had Windows Media Player minimised, and as soon as I plugged it in, Media Player decided it had to ask me if I wanted to scan it for media files ten times.

My answers, well, I'll read the title of this post to you:
"No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No"

Thankyou to the lovely loony monkeys typing code for Microsoft, you have made my life so much easier...now, what did I plug in my flash drive for in the first place?....Blast, I forgot, and I think it was important too....

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Today's Samuel In Dognwot is not brought to you by any sponsors, but if you want pay me I won't refuse.
Today Samuel is watching Wheel Of Fortune, and is supporting the person in the middle yellow space, who is currently on $200.

As you can probably tell, this was before I spotted the comments from Mrs. Nash, and before I got a working pen.

We are now 3 episodes away from finishing the Samuel In Dolgnwot series.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Samuel In Dolgnwot, Double Image Special.
As time goes by, these images are becoming more and more abstract, and more and more faint, in this one I didn't even have a working pen to use when I was drawing it.

Today's first image sees Samuel singing the start of "Rock Around The Clock", which really has nothing to do with the goldfields, but he was obviously enjoying himself.

According to the caption, Samuel is "singing to a CD", which is obviously another one of those bits os futuristic technology for 1857.

On this occasion, Mrs Brophy wasn't marking the diaries, it was Mrs Nash, and she was quite annoyed at the lack of goldfield related entires, she was often annoyed about something, but she was especially unimpressed by this.
"Samuel, I would like to read your ideas & thoughts about the goldfields. Please try to keep to the task."

I didn't notice her comments right away, which will probably be evident tommorow.

We are now 4 episodes away from finishing the Samuel In Dolgnwot series.

Clicking on the pictures will show a larger version, you can also find them on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Radio Ratings 

The Australian Capital City Radio Ratings were released yesterday or the day before, and I am happy to be able to announce that John Laws increased his Sydney market share by 16% (from 9.4% to 10.6%) whilst afternoon presenter John Stanley increased his market share by a whopping 41% (from 8.2% to 10.5%). John Stanley has a very entertaining show, and it is good to see people in Sydney are listening to it.

On a related note, here is a picture of the cake that 2UE presented to John Laws before he went to air on Monday morning, the day of his 70th birthday

Notice the golden candles? Well, it would appear that when 2UE move down the road later this month they will be presenting Lawsie with a new golden studio desk.

The microphone on that cake doesn't look golden, maybe it would have been too obvious what they were planning if they borrowed his microphone just to take a photo of it.

Samuel

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

When Internet Ads Are Fun 

This afternoon at work, we were discussing pie's (the charming Indian boss who had never heard that word thought we were talking about "pine", which really isn't as tasty and often leads to tooth damage), and after following a link to a pie recipe, I noticed an ad telling me I had won something. Normally, I would not click on one of these ads, but on this occasion, I quite simply couldn't help myself.

After clicking the link, I was presented with a page that had a strange little animation "calculating" my reward, which turned out to be $1101, the page also presented me with a timer telling me I had three minutes to call the number on the screen, which just happened to be an Australian free-call number, I printed the page (it had the claim number on it) and went next door to the office, which has the phone.

Upon dialing this free call number, I was transferred (at the advertising company's cost) to a US call centre indentifying themselves as the "prize claim hotline" or something.

I told the girl who answered the phone that I had just won $1101 and she seemed to become excited (I don't think many people ever ring the number, maybe she was happy to hear another person) and she proceeded to ask me for my claim number, which I gave her. She then went and asked me a few strange, although suprisingly understandable, questions about my holiday habits, how long has it been since my last holiday, what credit card to I prefer to use etc. She also asked for my name and phone number (office phone).

She then went on to tell me about this prize I had won, she was pretty much elaborating on what I had on my printout, a holiday to various places, I didn't really care whether I was going to see a beach near a rollercoaster or not, but I pretended to be interested. She went on and on and on and on and on, until eventually she made the scam a little bit clearer, I was getting this fantastic holiday, I had to take at least one other person with me (which makes the per person cost seem much lower), and the third & fourth person is free. The total cost of this amazing holiday was a mere $1699. Naturally I had my $1101 discount, so it was only going to cost me $598, on credit card NOW and I can take my holiday whenever I want for the next 18 months.

During this entire performance, she was telling me information I was supposed to write down, names of places I could visit, and her name which, just on the off chance she is real and wants to google herself or you speak to her, was Shirley Mathis

She then had a recap of this amazing holiday, and then wanted my email address, she didn't say why she wanted it, so I asked her:
"Are you going to spam me?"
to which she replied
"I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you"
I asked her a second time and she froze, after a silence of about five seconds she said she was transferring me to her supervisor who "would be able to handle my enquiry better".

I placed them on mute temporarily while I updated my surrounding co-workers on the status of this bizarre call (it was originally on speakerphone, but Shirley couldn't hear me very well, so I picked up the handset), after a brief time on hold, an American man who never identified himself answered the phone and started blabbering more repeated details of this holiday before asking me for my email address, I asked him whether he was going to spam me, to which he replied
"I'm not going to stand on you!"
so then I said
"No, Spam...SSSS-PAAAAM"
He paused, and seemingly went into shock, and after about five seconds said
"Oh, no, no, no (chuckle) we just want to send you a verification code so you can see your prize again."

He didn't bother asking for my email address again, and instead went on to a postal address, I started with a number, and had to spell it out to him, then I had to spell out the worded part of the postal address....twice, at which point one of my co-workers burst out laughing and rolled on the floor for a while, which I told the man on the phone, he seemed to ignore that, and as soon as we were finished with that he went and told me (for the third time) that once he was finished with me he would put me through to a tape recording from the legal department which would ensure that I knew what I was receiving (as if they hadn't told me enough times already). I was beginning to suspect that he was a tape recording himself.

He eventually got to the "I want your credit card details" section of the conversation, and I made an excuse, I told him I had left my credit card at home today, and he said that people usually tell him that when they don't believe the holiday deal. He suggested that I should call home
"Put me on hold and call home!"
I couldn't argue with that logic, so I said I was putting him on hold, couldn't find the hold button and pressed mute instead, I obviously wasn't going to ring home as I had no intention of giving them my financial details, during the time I had them on mute I discussed the progress of the call with my co-workers and heard Shirley saying something to her supervisor about me, which sounded derogatory, it also sounded like she was saying something along the lines of "I think we've got this one". I've always wanted to listen in on people who are on hold, it can prove to be entertaining, my wish came true today.

I waited a few more seconds before taking them off of the muted hold, and continued to play their game as if I hadn't heard anything.
Samuel: Are you still there?
Shirley: Yes, I'm here
Samuel: Oh, ok, your supervisor said I should ring home to get my credit card details
Shirley: I know, I was standing right here

At this stage I was thinking "But you said you were transferring me, how many other people are listening to this, perhaps you are in a small office and the other call centre voices are just a recording."

The call continued
Samuel: Well, I tried, but nobody is home.

And the banter went on for a but longer, she started to sound disappointed, and told me about my holiday again, what came next really caught me off guard.

Shirley: You should borrow your bosses credit card...he can take it out of your pay cheque!
Samuel: (Laughter) I suppose, but he isn't here right now
He was actually less than four metres away at his desk listening to me talking, but I wanted to finish this call politely, maybe they would let me have the bogus holiday to secure the scam...but alas, Shirley reached the stage where

Shirley: Well, I'm not going to be able to process your order without a credit card, I'm really sorry, I really wanted to help you out, I always look out for the people who sound like they need a holiday, and you sounded like that, and I really wanted to help you...
Samuel: Well, with the rate that your ads keep appearing, I'm sure you will be able to give it away to somebody, it is a pity, I would have liked the holiday, it sounded great, I guess it's just not my day.
Shirley: Well it will go back into the system, I really wanted to help you, but I'm so sorry I can't, maybe next time.

And that pretty much ended the call. I went back to the computer to find the three minute timer had changed to "Call Now", I refreshed the page, and got the same claim number, the same prize, and another three minutes to call.

The call itself lasted for 24 minutes and 17 seconds, all of which was paid for by these lovely scammers.

Now if you have some spare time, and want to make those scammers pay, give Shirley and her supervisor a call, the more people the better, just use the details from my printout.

Ah yes, the fun that can come from those internet ads.

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Here we go, more Samuel In Dolgnwot!
Another one of those days where Samuel feels like singing. Actually, a few people were blessed with Samuel's singing today, one of them described it as "Wolves Crying".

If you have been watching the series unfold you may have noticed that, as the series has gone on, the pencils have been getting lighter.

We are now 5 episodes away from finishing the Samuel In Dolgnwot series, which reminds me, tomorrow we have another double image special.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Lawsie's Birthday 

As you may recall from the last post about Lawsie's birthday, John Williamson and Pixie Jenkins dropped in to sing happy birthday to Lawsie, you can hear them singing a birthday song and a couple others (Skinny Dingos, Mozzies) for Lawsie as well as having a little chat at http://www.johnlaws.com.au/sound_JL/WILLO.mp3.

Well worth a listen!

Samuel

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Do I sense that it is time for another episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot?.....Yep, I do.

Well, it looks like a picture of a computer to me....slightly futuristic for 1857, but not to worry.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Samuel's Musician Of The Week 

Well, this week it goes to Mary Chapin Carpenter, and whilst it is hard to pick just one song, I have gone with this one.

The Hard Way
(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Show a little inspiration, show a little spark
And show that things that drew me to you and stole my heart
And tell me something I don't know instead of everything I do
And look at me as if I mean something to you
Our hearts are beating while we sleep, but while we're wide awake
You know the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way

Show a little passion, baby, show a little style
And show the knack for knowing when and the gift for knowing how
And have a little trust in us when fear obscures the path
You know we got this far, darling, not by luck, but by never turning back
Some will call on destiny, but I just call on faith
That the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, to what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way

Caught up in our little lives, there's not a lot left over
I see what's missing in your eyes; you're searching for that field of clover
So show a little inspiration, show a little spark
Show the world a little light when you show it your heart
We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard (everything we got, we got the hard way)
Everything we got, we got the hard way
(Because the world won't stop) hang on, baby...

Samuel

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Schnappi reaches 9 

Yes, Schnappi Das Kleine Krokadil is now 9th on the ARIA singles chart.

Samuel

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Happy Birthday Lawsie! 

Today is Monday the 8th of August, 2005. The day which marks Lawsie's 70th birthday.

Congratulations Lawsie, I hope you have a fantastic day.

John Williamson dropped into the studio today while Lawsie was on-air to wish him happy birthday and sing for him, it was quite a good moment, and will probably be on Lawsie's website later today.

I tried to ring his show this morning to wish him a happy birthday, but ringing that show is always difficult as so many people want to talk to him. I ended up leaving a message for him with one of his producers. I also sent him a birthday card.

Happy Birthday Lawsie!

Samuel

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Before I get angry emails asking me why I haven't produced today's episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot, here it is.
In today's episode, Samuel gets harrassed by about five troopers all asking for the same documentation.

As part of the gold game, a certain number of people chose to be troopers instead of gold diggers for half of the time, they had the job of going around and asking to see certain documents which showed if you had been shopping or kept your digging licence up-to-date, or been cheating.

On this particular day, five troopers visited Samuel (and most of the other gold diggers) to check their shopping documents, this sparked a number of complaints by the gold diggers about the troopers.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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The Weekend Wireless Show 

Last night I found myself having trouble getting to sleep. In fact, I ended up being awake for most of the night and sunlight-free portion of the morning.

One of the many benefits of talk radio is that, when you do have trouble getting to sleep, the radio is capable of keeping you company. Last night I found myself listening to much more of New Day Australia with George Gibson than usual, and eventually became rather intrigued by his lateral thinking question.

I don't remember all the details of the question, but I do remember this much of it:
In the 1960's an East German woman swam the 100M freestyle in a record time of 59.(something, forgot exact number) seconds, but it was never officially recognised, why?

At about 3:30am I felt rather compelled to ring and try to answer the question, I thought that perhaps she had been swimming the Australian Crawl before it was officially recognised. (Contrary to popular belief, freestyle allows the swimmer to choose which swimming style they wish to use, the style that you usually see is the Australian Crawl).

unfortunately, my answer was incorrect, but I did manage a couple games of Reversi on the computer while I was waiting on hold. The conversation I had with George Gibson was rather interesting too.

We started by discussing the temperature in Canberra, which was certainly colder than it was in his studio. Then I gave him my answer, the following dialogue is worthy of transcribing.
George: No, that's not correct.
Samuel: Are you sure?
George: Yes.
Samuel: Well, do you think you could make that the answer?
George: (Laughter), I don't think anybody's ever asked me that before!

Nobody was able to answer the lateral thinking question overnight, so it will be there again on Saturday morning from 5 past Midnight when George Gibson present the "Weekend Wireless Show" New Day Australia on 2UE and network stations.

I eventually drifted off to sleep at about 5:15am

Samuel

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Roughly four hours later than usual, here is today's Samuel In Dolgnwot

Samuel has a rather rigid feeding routine, and on this particular day, he is enjoying his morning tea, which is 1 Litre of Corn Soup, he will probably have a cup of coffee when he is done.

The feeding routine is another bit of paper I should dig out of the archive boxes.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Friday, August 05, 2005

SmoothWall forums fit to burst! 

If you have a question about SmoothWall, the answer is probably in one of the 101,000 threads on the SmoothWall forums. Go and check it out.

Samuel

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Man watches No Right Turn sign while ANU explodes 

Only Canberra could produce a headline like that, and it is all true, even if slightly exagerated.
No Right Turn road signThis afternoon on my way into Civic I noticed somebody staring at a No Right Turn sign, which was a rather unusual sight. There didn't appear to be anything unusual about the sign...maybe they hadn't seen one before.

Also this afternoon, an explosion at the Australian National University.
In the Research School Of Chemistry, probably the result of an experimental accident.

ABC Online
says "A laboratory explosion blew out three windows and sparked a fire at the Australian National University’s (ANU) science building this afternoon. The fire is understood to have burned through the roof of the building. It is not clear what caused the explosion, which hit the third floor of the science building at 1:45pm AEST. Ambulance officers assessed four people from nearby buildings but they did not need treatment. The fire brigade says smoke from the blaze was non-toxic. Investigations into the cause are under way, as the clean-up continues."

This comes just two days after a suspicious package was found at the Jolimont Centre in Civic, sparking a closure of some roads, including Nourthbourne Ave. The police belw up this bag to destroy it, I'm not sure how safe this is when they don't know what is in the bag, but it turned out to be a forgotten bag of clothing.

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

And here we have another one of those irresistible episodes of Samuel In Dolgnwot.

In today's episode you can see Samuel enduring another one of those days where he isn't able to search for gold. He does appear to be making the most of a bad situation by watching TV & listening to the radio simultaneously.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Time for another episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot
Samuel has had another big gold find today, and has decided to call the animals at his house to tell them about it.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Search Term 

It would appear from the Blog View Stats that every few days, somebody lands on this blog by using the search term "samuel blog 2CC". This strikes me as a rather odd set of words to combine as a search term, I mean, sure I'm a 2CC listener, but I think you would have to know me or be a regular reader to know that, so I would like to request that the person who is using that search term to please let me know why you use it.

There is nothing wrong with you using it, I'm just curious as to why you use it. Could you please leave a comment or email me?

Samuel

Comments:
It's not me Samuel (maybe it's Cain Bond ).
 
Good to see that you are still around John, I've noticed your screenname in the search logs as well!

And for the record, Mr. Bond's name is Kane, although there was a time when I thought it might be Cain, but I have since confirmed that to be false.

I do have to wonder if it is 2CC management making sure I honour the Non Disclosure Agreement from my work experience there, but I doubt it.
 
Ok ... Kane it is ... by the way Samuel ..you won't hear me on the driveshow anymore -- I don't like it when the compere asks for listeners to phone in with with their opinions and then starts to 'lambast' them if he doesn't agree with them ! ( the whole point of talkback radio is to give alternative views ). John .
 
That is probably the reason they call him the "smallest big mouth on 2CC"

You could always do what Bruce does and have a yelling fit, you would probably find your opinion replayed during drive show promos and theme songs then.

Will you appear on the breakfast show?

Regardless of where you do or don't appear, I am still happy to hear your opinion....that reminds me, I haven't seen you on The RiotACT lately either.

I think you will find that most commercial talkback hosts would prefer to hear people agreeing with them, than people not agreeing with them. I'm not sure, but I think the ABC are better at multiple view points (that editorial policy they have).

I still haven't heard from the "samuel blog 2CC" searcher...
 
I've given "The Riot Act" the flick as well (too many egocentrics on there ) .
 
Fair enough, I tend to enjoy the egotistical arguments, they are a good way to forget all logic for a few moments and declare everyone else insane.

Then again, I do publicly admit to insanity...
 
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Blogger or Wordpress? 

I must say that Blogger.com is starting to irk me, it does it's job, but it isn't exactly useful. It does tend to create some of the most appalling HTML on the planet, working with more than two images is pretty painful, and everything is STATIC! It also doesn't provide me with a way to edit comments (keep or delete), I can't assign categories to posts...in fact, pretty much all I can do is type.

I am seriously considering moving this blog to paid hosting and Wordpress, which is a very nice, dynamic blogging utility (utility is probably the wrong word, but I like it). It probably won't happen instantly, maybe my next holidays in a couple months would be a good time...but eventually this blog is not going to be on blogger.com servers using blogger.com software and blogger.com's strange version of HTML.

(Postscript Addendum Thingy: I accidentally clicked on the insert image button and then decided to click cancel because I didn't want it....so blogger inserted the latest Samuel In Dolgnwot image.....grrrrr)

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

More Samuel In Dolgnwot! Yay!
Today you can see Samuel having fun with his lights and fans in his futuristic truck.

Turning them on and off constantly is obviously quite a good quality source of enjoyment for Samuel, and he is the only person on the goldfields in 1857 with the ability to do it.

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Blog View Stats for July 

Due to inane difficulties with images and formatting, the previous post containing the stats from July has been removed, and I have instead uploaded the various reports in PDF format to http://www.ibiblio.org/netsec/misc/blogstats/July2005/

Enjoy!

Samuel

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

Another episode of Samuel In Dolgnwot!
Today you can see Samuel doing his weekly shopping.

This was a requirement of the Gold Game and cost some trivial amount of money (I must remember to find that bit of paper that has all the transactions from the Gold Game on it).

Clicking on the picture will show a larger version, you can also find it on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Mr. Ed 

I couldn't let the day go by without saying happy birthday to Mr. Ed and all the other horses out there.

Today, August the 1st, is of course the Horse's Birthday.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.
Go right to the source and ask the horse

He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed.
People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day

But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.
A horse is a horse, of course, of course,

And this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse? Well listen to this. I am Mister Ed.

Neigh!

Samuel

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Samuel's Artwork: Samuel In Dolgnwot 

And now... A double image specila of Samuel In Dolgnwot
Today's first image shows Samuel in his gold digging truck (another futuristicness for 1857) where he can see that he has found 36oz of gold for the day.

There are three buttons in front of Samuel which control various functions of the gold digger, thankfully, the process of searching for gold is automated, but can be customised if that is what is desired.

Samuel is obviously quite pleased at his find, which is hardly suprising.

The second image today is another note from the teacher, Mrs. Brophy, who is writing in reference to her previous comment about captions.

She writes "This is an improvement thanks Samuel. Now I know what each pages is telling me. Do you reall think you could watch T.V and listen to 2CA on the goldfields in 1857 though?"

I, upon reading this, went to see her with an explanation about the "Futuristic Technology."

Clicking on the pictures will show larger versions, you can also find them on the photo gallery.

Samuel

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Internet Explorer Loving Idiots 

Hmmmm, does anybody reading this remember Idiot Number Three?
Well, I do, and he still likes Internet Explorer, and went on a mini rant when he found Firefox and no Internet Explorer on the computer he was using, he went so far as to say "I hate Firefox"...the words of an idiot, pure & simple.

His mini rant prompted another person in the room to start complaining as well, apparently they want IE to be the default browser...if I never had any contact with that network I probably wouldn't care, but the fact is I am in contact with that network every day, and work on some fairly important files there. The last thing I want is some leaky, pain in the rear end, security risk, poor excuse for a browser on my desktop.

The main reason this Firefox roll out occurred is because far too many computers on the network were having difficulty receiving proxy and other IE configuration info from the server. Firefox, apart from being the better browser, allows us to lock down these settings locally, so even without a server it still works.

For some reason, the second person mentioned seemed to think the IE's view source command handles viewing source nicely. IE opens it in Notepad, where you see a large block of semi-gibberish text in a window, which notepad has retrieved from a temporary location and will discard as soon as you close the window (unless you remember to save your changes). Firefox on the other hand opens source in it's own source viewer, which colour codes the HTML, which is much easier to read and deal with than notepad's "Block of text" view. The other benefit of Firefox's view source command is that is forces you to save the HTML file before you modify it...no more of those "I made the best change ever and forgot to save it" moments.

These people know (or at least should) that Firefox is the better browser, and yet use IE without giving it a second thought, why?

This kind of attitude is the reason that so many of the Windows exploits get around so quickly, all those worms spread and all those malware issues take over your desktop with strange offers and pictures. It isn't so bad when people simply don't know, but when they do know, and do nothing about it, that is when the problems start.

Not updating software and not following secure computer usage principles is the main reason that all this malware gets around so easily, often the users of the computer don't know that they are being used to spread garbage, but if they followed some basic security principles then they would be less likely to suffer from, and help spread, such problems.

That being said, following security principles won't stop malware issues, but it will slow it down, and it will result in less problems for you when you go surfing the web, or need to type a letter, or do something else.

Unfortunately, some people just won't learn, like those pesky Internet Explorer loving idiots.

Get Firefox!

Samuel

Comments:
what network are you taling about? you seem to be aiming this at someone, but who is it?
 
I'm talking about the network at my place of work. And I'm not aiming this at anyone, it is just one of my rants.
 
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