Wednesday, July 28

Bob on board, turn this plane back to Sydney!

Excellent idea! Any time there's a guy called Bob on a United Airlines flight from Sydney, turn that damn plane around, divert all other aircraft within 1000kms, carpet the airport with security and emergency services, and while we're at it, shadow it with fighter aircraft to shoot it down lest Bob attempt to parachute to safety!

Bob is dangerous! At least, Bob Garcia is. Well, perhaps 'dangerous' is over-stating it. Definitely nuts. Positively emotional. Listen, I've known him to do some pretty crazy things, and he drives like God looks out for Michigan Argentines, always-on-the-cell-phone, always-looking-at-you-telling-a-story-instead-of-watching-the-road. Don't ever let him at the controls of your 747. In fact you don't want him on the plane with you for 14 hours back to LA, especially not if the wines are complimentary.

Oh wait... you mean if we divert it back to Sydney we're actually flying the suspected bomb back to the centre of a city of four million people? And how can it be that we don't have any fighter aircraft capable of scrambling and intercepting a lumbering fully-laden 747 that's still 90 minutes away from Sydney? What if ALIENS ATTACK!?!?!? Have you people SEEN the film Independence Day? OK, by happy coincidence Will Smith is here publicising I, Robot, but that means nothing unless he's got some meaningful air transport - do you expect him to flap his arms? I LIVE UNDER THE FLIGHT-PATH!

So now I'm monitoring new eBay listings, waiting for a shoulder-launched surface-to-air weapon to be listed. You don't see them too often on eBay here in Australia but eBay Argentina? Well, that's a whole freer marketplace. As my friend Bob can tell you.

I'll take care of my own aviation security issues from now on, thankyou very much Mr John Anderson, Federal Transport Minister. And if a United Airlines pilot isn't over-reacting when he thinks "BOB" scrawled on a sick-bag is a bomb-threat, I'm sure you won't mind me bringing that puppy down with a heat-seeker between the exhaust vents. Over your house.

Tuesday, July 27

Fetchme fishing for porn viewers

According to ZDNet Australia's Angus Kisman, Telstra's online campaign to promote its DVD rental site has unexpectedly led it into the murky waters of porn advertising!

Seems the marketing folks at Fetchmemovies paid another firm to input all the title names of all the DVDs they have in stock into the search engine paid search advertising programs. So that, for instance, if you search for "Sex: The Annabel Chong Story" (a documentary about a porn star) you get a link to that movie on Fetchmemovies. Unfortunately, you can also just search on "Sex" and you'll also get the link to Fetchmemovies every once in a while.

It can be pretty tricky doing a good job of marketing tens of thousands of DVDs - I can say this from experience working at but this is something Fetch's marketing agency should really have filtered out, given the sensitivity of Telstra to porn-related issues.

Tuesday, July 20

Riding on the shoulders of giants

Riding on the shoulders of giants
Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Best way to see everything at the zoo: climb on dad's shoulders and stay there all day. Unfortunately, your Dad starts to crumple about mid-afternoon, and has to be stretchered out of the zoo by evening, but hey, it was worth it for that awesome look at the animals.

Goodbye productivity!

testing, originally uploaded by bigyahu.
Uhoh, productivity goes out the window as the dev team get their own coffee machine.

Perhaps we can pay them barista rates instead of developer rates?

Wednesday, July 14


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, July 13

The Hon. Joe Hockey MP
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

July 13, 2004

Dear Joe,

Thanks, but no thanks, for the fridge magnet. Not even the list of handy telephone numbers could make it useful enough to warrant me sticking any politician's face on my fridge, much less your smug, chubby mug.

Is this a trend? First, the "How to spot a terrorist" fridge magnet, now the "How to spot Joe Hockey" fridge magnet? Government by fridge magnet! I look forward to the "Joe Hockey, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Tourism" fridge magnet you'll be putting out under the coming Latham government, listing the fridge magnet ideas you had queued up ready to go, including:

* How to help a potentially dangerous Muslim terrorist and their family settle in Australia now we've granted them refugee status at last
* Healthcare gap ready-reckoner
* Our US Free Trade Agreement concessions (very small magnet)
* Important sporting events calendar (where to find your Prime Minister this week)
* Recent pork-barrelling in your electorate/industry

Meanwhile, do us a favour and stop spending my taxes on sending me the junk mail? And stick the fridge magnet where the fridge light don't shine.


Alan Jones
58 Northcote Street
Naremburn NSW 2065

Things that should have been obvious to me when I first bought my iPod but which I've only now figured out:

(1) Don't rate music you don't like. At first I thought I should rate music I don't like as one or two stars. Problem is, I soon ran out of space to distinguish between tunes I really like, and tunes I really, really (or really, really, really) like. At first I was complaining that Apple should really offer half-star increments, then I realised that I just shouldn't rate bad songs at all. Preferrably, delete them from your iPod. I mean, you've still got them on CD, right? ;-) So you don't need to keep them on the iPod too unless you're a " total album experience" kinda person.

Sunday, July 11

Every month I pay my Telstra Bigpond cable internet bill, and every month, when I turn the page to check the payment options, I begin to tear my hair out. How can it be that the largest ISP in Australia can't get it's act together and allow me to pay my bill using BPAY?

As a small businessperson (and small businesses don't get much smaller than mine) even I can use MYOB to let my customers pay their bills using BPAY. Here's Australia's largest company, with other divisions (mobile phones, landlines, etc) that allow you to pay using BPAY, but the ISP business - arguably, the division with customers most likely to want to pay online using BPAY - can't do it.

To add insult to injury, while Bigpond lets you pay online using credit card, they've started charging you up to 1.69% to pay with your credit card. Incredible! And I'm a shareholder of this massive sauropod of a company? I'm so embarassed!

Don't bother ringing customer service to ask why, they wouldn't have a clue. The reason probably lies in some complex inter-Telstra political dispute - one middle-manager that can't get along with another, or perhaps a billing platform built on one stupid-arse Microsoft system that can't talk to the stupid-arse Java system the ISP logging system runs on.


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