Thursday, December 30

SonyEricsson announces new "double-backed" mobile phone

Tokyo, 23 December 2005: Mobile phone manufacturer SonyEricsson today announced it would ship its rumoured "double-back" model, the SonyEricsson B800i in Q1 2005 worldwide. The company also released limited specifications for the new product, a radical low-end product solution dubbed "double-back" because it features a camera on the front, a camera on the back, but no screen, keyboard, or interface of any kind.

"The B800i is a convenient solution for the problem created in the manufacture of our best-selling "double-front" K700i handset," said a SonyEricsson spokesperson. "By incorporating the extra backs left-over from the manufacturing process of the K700i, we've been able to bring the B800i to market, setting a new low price-point for consumer handsets and functionality in the process."

The B800i's twin cameras record everything in front or behind the handset at all times, leading some analysts to predict privacy problems as phonecam addicts take not just candid shots of unsuspecting strangers in bathrooms and changerooms, but also shots of themselves self-pleasuring during the act.

More certain to appeal to consumer's battery life, since the B800i features twin LiOn battery packs, one on each back.

To appeal to cost-conscious low-end consumers, and because it has no keypad, it's not possible to make outgoing calls on the B800i, but owners can accept or terminate a call by tapping the handset firmly against a solid object such as a wall, or by removing both of the batteries.

SonyEricsson announces new "double-backed" mobile phone

Waste of space

Waiting in vain for a train today, I watched a German tourist couple search in vain for a rubbish bin for the remaining half of their uniquely Australian sausage roll. ("Die is nicht wurst!")

They were looking for a rubbish bin on the train platform. How could this be? I remember the decision, post-9/11, to remove the rubbish bins from railway stations in NSW, citing the threat of terrorists leaving bombs or starting fires in them. Sadly, Germans are no strangers to terrorism; international and domestic, religious and political. Surely in Germany there are no rubbish bins in any public place, much less their railway stations.

Have the Germans, famous for their engineering, somehow invented a bombproof rubbish bin? Or does a few decades of living with the threat of terrorism instil a cavalier disregard for terrorist threats amongst the safety-mad Germans? It seems unlikely.

Instead, I suspect the German railways have sensibly decided that removing bins does nothing to reduce the terrorist risk; it just increases the amount of litter. After all, if I were a fanatical terrorist determined to place a bomb in the station, would the lack of a convenient rubbish bin really dissuade me?

"I'm terribly sorry," I can see myself reporting to my terrorist cell leader. "All that training you put me through in Afghanistan, the trouble we went to smuggling the components, the time we spent plotting� it's all been wasted. They've taken the rubbish bins off the railway platforms. I could have put the bomb on the tracks, left it in a toilet, placed it on the wrought iron beams holding up the roof, left it in my bag, or placed it on a train, but your strict instructions were to place it in a rubbish bin." If I was that stupid, the only danger I'd represent would be to myself.

I finished my large takeaway coffee, asked the Germans to follow me, and walked over to the platform attendant. "This is rubbish," I said.

"I know," he said. "Trains are running late and out of timetable order due to unusual weather conditions," he said, pointing to the sky. "The wind is coming from the northwest. That hardly ever happens. We're in complete disarray."

"�wegen des wetters?" One of the Germans muttered, looking up to the heavens.

"You misunderstand me," I said, passing him my empty coffee cup. "This is rubbish."

"You bought it here?" He shrugged, "We can't even make the trains run on time, and you expect great coffee?"

Buy a coffee at one of Central's many food shops, and you won't find a bin there, or on the platforms, or even in the nearby park. I had to hunt far and wide before finding one underneath the paper towels in the men's toilets.

Terrorists apparently don't go to the toilet, or, if they do, they don't wash their hands. I may have just single-handedly raised the alert level at State Rail from a manic Code Orange to a gibbering Code Red, but I owe it to my fellow commuters. Don't everybody throw your rubbish in there at once.

Thursday, December 16

Remix your national anthem and be a Top 10 hit, please!

All of Australia's Up In Arms Lobby are once again up in arms, this time to forbid the Council of the City of Sydney remixing of our national anthem in an attempt to make the turgid, pompous pap of a song into something more party-compatible for Sydney's famous New Year's Eve celebrations.

I've got no problems with remixing the national anthem in principle, in fact, I'd rather we wrote a new national anthem anyway, especially if we could get it to #1 on the charts in the UK and US and pump a bit of that foreign currency into our current account deficit.

But, oh my, the Sydney City Council remix is soooo horrid! It sounds like it's been remixed by a committee of bureacrats and ageing queers... exactly the problem, i'll wager.

How about we launch a "Remix The National Anthem" contest, take the winning versions and try to get them up on the international dance charts? How groovy would a country be if its national anthem was rocking the clubs around the world? Now that would be the truly Australian thing to do!

Wednesday, December 15


I had the misfortune to be fleeced of AUD499.00 today, just to crossgrade from MYOB's windoze accounting software to the Mac version. The Mac version retails for $550+ so I was saving a lousy $50 or so. Plus you've got to pay $100 a year just to get the latest tax tables, etc to download so your accounts balance out.

But buying the software online really showed me just how bad MYOB is at online customer relationships.

  • Chose which over-priced option I wanted to pay for

  • Logged-in with 8-digit product serial number and password instead of ID or email address and password!

  • Entered my credit card details

  • Lengthy wait, followed by confirmation that credit card transaction had been processed...

  • That's all!

So hey, MYOB, where's my note telling me my software is on the way, how long I can expect to wait before it arrives, how it will be sent, etc? Where's the email confirming same? It's been an hour now! What the hell have you done with my money, you arrogant sonofas!

Friday, December 3

Painting with your prostate

...then it occurred to me (with prompting from my friend Brad) that a public-spirited guy could do the same to raise money for the most common form of cancer in men - prostate cancer.

Except the prostate gland is internal, and the shortest route to that is up your bum. So I need a volunteer to stick a paintbrush up his bum and learn to paint with it (sorry, but more of a 'facilitator' than a 'doer', myself.)

Painting with your boobs

"I wonder if my breasts could work like sponges?" thought Angel Tolentino one day. And the best bit is: she was just looking for a way to help people.

The world needs more people like Angel... and more bodypaint...

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