Wednesday, November 30

Your email is important to us...

1. I am currently away from my desk, beating my head against the wall. Your message will be replied to once I have reached a level of numbness sufficient to cloud my vision to the point I am able to formulate an appropriate response to your request.
2. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
3. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.
4. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
5. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.
6. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this one is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).
7. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.
8. I've run away to join a different circus.
9. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Margaret' instead of 'Phil.'
10. Your email is important to me. But so is global warming, third-world debt, famine relief, exercising regularly, eating properly, and flossing, and do you see me making any significant progress on those?

One month on: I'm spending a fortune on iTMS tracks!

One month and a couple of days on from the one month anniversary of the launch of iTunes Music Store Australia and I've made the mistake of counting the number of tracks I've purchased in that time.

Holy spinning turntables batman! I've managed to buy 95 tracks in a month! Eight albums worth! $157 in only one month! I better slow down and take a moment to buy some shares in Apple.

Wonder if Apple will make a "sold X tracks in first month of iTMS Australia" announcement like they did for other international stores, or wait until the first quarterly figures are in?

Note that this has been *additive* spending, it hasn't significantly cannibalised my other online music spending ( and Amazon.) My offline retail spending is way down, of course, but it's been almost zero now for almost a year anyway.

Monday, November 28

Against hangings, but not if it means missing the game, or losing some money

The Australian Federal Government makes it clear that, while it opposes the death penalty, it's not prepared to miss a cricket game scheduled for the same day as the execution.

Sadly, that's entirely in-line with past governments, which have been against, for instance, human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and South Africa, but not to the point that it should stop our national teams from playing there.

And this is not a major cricket game, just the Prime Minister's XI vs the West Indies, a side that could be comfortably beaten by the federal press gallery after a heavy night on the suds on current form. Sure, the PM is the host of the game, but it's not like Australia's cricketing honour hangs (ick) on the outcome of this game. So no great loss surely for the PM if he postpones or cancels it.

In the past few weeks, we've also seen a general cabinet consensus that economic sanctions against Singapore would achieve nothing, and might risk damaging the Australian economy.

Well, is that such a bad thing? The very same Australian economy the Liberal government is claiming is at an all-time high, entirely due to its own efforts? Couldn't we afford a little pain in the back pocket to make a statement to the Singaporean government?

How much economic pain would the electorate be prepared to take in order to make it clear? How much is one Australian criminal's life worth? A million dollars? Ten million? Come on John Howard, Alexander Downer, put a dollar figure behind it and ask the people whether we're prepared to share a little economic damage.

Sunday, November 20

Hey, Mr D:\, J:\ play anutha...

Originally uploaded by michaelarrington.
Of course it's entirely appropriate that the Web 2.0 coming-out-party-of-the-year (the launch of had music supplied by Web 2.0 darling and stonking online music service,

Entirely significant also. In a world of free/cheap bandwidth, who the hell needs to carry around a box of discs anymore? Who needs some DJ messing with the vibe? And I don't really want to listen to all my own tracks at my party, especially since my taste is slightly suspect. I'd much rather point Pandora at my speakers and set it free to get serendipitous.

In my experience, so far Pandora hasn't put a foot wrong with my own musical preferences (which are not conventional or mainstream.) In fact, I need to keep iTMS open while Pandora is running because 1 in 5 tracks is something I've never heard before that I now need to buy (if I was buying from iTMS US, I could use the links in Pandora to buy 'em direct, but AU iTMS isn't integrated.)

So, in a couple of weeks we're going to have the first of several house-warming bashes at our new house, and I'm going to hook Pandora up via iTunes and Airport Express. Let's see whether Mr D:\ and Mr J:\ can funkify da crib.

Wednesday, November 16

Major strategic announcement for "Why are we surrounded by idiots?"


In a marathon six hour analyst briefing in Sydney yesterday, CEO of leading Australian blog "Why Are We Surrounded By Idiots", Mr Alan Jones, announced that the company would be changing the way it delivers latest blog posts to you via email.

"It's time we abandoned Yahoo! Groups," said Mr Jones. "It's slow, it's kludgy, it makes me approve each post, and basically, I don't work at Yahoo! anymore."

"We're also announcing the appointment of a new post email delivery provider, Feedblitz, which we believe is best positioned to take us into the 22nd century of blog community-building," he emphasised.

Current subscribers to "Why Are We Surrounded By Idiots" need to nothing other than click on the link in the email they will soon receive from Feedblitz.

In line with other major strategic initiatives announced in marathon briefings, Mr Jones also announced that the blog would be reducing staffing levels by 20% over five years.

"It just seems to be what investors demand of CEOs these days," said Jones. "With only one employee, we're unable to actually retrench anybody, but I'm actually looking forward to spending 20% less time on the blog over the next few years."

"New developments in blog technology will actually allow me to blog more productively, meaning more frequent posts, with greater wit, delivered in the blink of an eye to set-top boxes, 3G mobile phones and possibly even the fillings in your teeth."

Yes, you can get My Sharona!

Yes, you can get My Sharona!
Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Slow that living room down!

Intellivision: Star Strike
Originally uploaded by scrubbles.
Your living room is going to get booked for speeding, cos it sure isn't the game!

Tuesday, November 15

I can't believe it's not hummous

Nearly fell out of my chair when I read about The Other Iraq on Bruce Sterling's blog. Sterling says maybe it's all funded by US oil companies. I say yeah, maybe, as in 'definitely maybe'. Maybe they're sucking the oil out of there and screwing the Kurds in a much more subtle and effective way than ole Saddam ever could, too.

I win the bet: we can access the camera with bluepulse apps

I win the bet! Ben and I were debating whether we could let bluepulse app developers access the camera on a handset. Ben was thinking with his geek hat on about how it was impossible for a bluepulse app to break out of its Java or Symbian sandbox to address the hardware running the camera. But I was thinking like a blogger, and realise that not everything has to happen on the phone for this to work. All we need to do is let the user email their photo to a web server, like Flickr's moblogging feature, and then the bluepulse server can pick up the photo, the caption, and the mobile number it came from, and do its funky thang for the customer.

After all, why do we have a server-side 'browserless portal for mobile phones' if not to do all the tricky stuff server side? ;-)

Now, off to document this and try and get some bluepulse devheads to build something fun.

Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Monday, November 14

Fun with iTunes Music Store (iTMS) - your Sharona

Ape - nowhere near My Sharona
Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Look at all the different versions of 'My Sharona' you can find and buy on iTunes Music Store (iTMS):

Javier Alvarez

Towa Tei


The Number Twelve Looks Like You

...that last one's worth downloading for the band's name alone!

Tuesday, November 1

Separated at birth? You be the judge

I can't believe I didn't spot the resemblance between Michael Walsh, Australian new media analyst, and Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese PM earlier!

Michael Walsh
Junichiro Koizumi

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