Thursday, September 29

The "3" in "3G" doesn't stand for "third world"

Someone made this remarkable assertion at an industry conference I attended:

"More than half of the world's population has no access to the internet. There are 11 nations with no internet access at all."

Don't be absurd, I thought. How do they check their email?

Meanwhile, in several African nations, all they do with their internet access is send me Nigerian bank scam spam. I'm in favour of withdrawing their internet access...

Q: What's missing from this picture? A: Reality

Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Yes, sure, let's all drag the sofa out of the lounge room away from the 100cm plasma screen, up the stairs and into the study, bring the dinner in, and sit there as a family in front of the 15" computer screen together.

Great horny toads, what are they smoking over at bigpond?

Monday, September 12

And now I have the Darth Vader Helmet with Realistic Vader Sound Effects...

Some people just should not be allowed to submit customer reviews on Amazon.

Others should be paid to write them.

Also, family and friends, if you're reading this post, this is what I'd like to get for Christmas (as soon as it's back for sale on Amazon.)

Saturday, September 10

No iPod in your car yet? Don't worry, you will soon

One of the announcements I found interesting in the Apple keynote this week, buried by the announcement of the Motorolla ROKR and iPod Nano, was that according to Apple, 30% of all new cars sold in the US in 2006 will ship with iPod connectivity either standard or an option. That's a lot of marketshare in the automotive audio market, all in a couple of years, but no more than in handheld music players, where Apple enjoys more than 70% marketshare in the US and elsewhere. It's going to happen in car audio too - it's almost unstoppable. Steve Jobs announced that Honda and Toyota would both be adding iPod connectivity in all their new models for 2005.

If I were a manufacturer of car audio systems, I'd be angling for a Motorolla-style iTunes client licensing deal as soon as Jobs' schedule has an opening. If iTunes isn't running on your auto head unit next year, you won't have much of a business in five years. Car audio manufacturers have one advantage over mobile handset manufacturers that might help - with the exception of Sony, the car audio manufacturers have never believed they are operating system magnates.

Wednesday, September 7

You're English, right? No? Irish?

It's weird how Google and Yahoo! are alike in so many underlying ways. They share a lot of common IT environment DNA, and Google has poached a lot of good people from Yahoo! over the last few years (hello Katie!) but some of the similarities go much deeper still.

While working at Yahoo! we had no end of trouble with localising web pages using some internally-developed form-based admin tools. All the time, you'd go to edit the Australian English version of, say, the Terms of Service page, and then find you'd also added the same changes to all the other international English versions of Yahoo!. Or for no apparent reason, suddenly our Australian users were being shown a Privacy page that referred to Yahoo! UK & Ireland, or Canada.

The same freaky sh*t happens at Google too, so often that even though I'm not a frequent Google customer, I still see it happen about once every six months. Checking my Google AdWords program Terms and Conditions page today, I see all these references to Google Ireland mixed in, even though I'm a Google Australia customer:

Google Ireland Limited AdWords Program Terms

These Google Ireland Limited AdWords Program Terms ("Terms") are entered into by you and Google Ireland Limited ("Google") regarding the Google AdWords Program ("Program") as further described in the Program's frequently asked questions at (the "FAQs") (collectively, the "Agreement"). "You" or "you" means the party listed on the account you create and you represent you have the authority to agree to this Agreement for that party. You represent and warrant that you are authorized to act on behalf of, and bind to this Agreement, any third party for which you generate ads. You hereby agree and acknowledge:

1 Policies. Program use is subject to all applicable Google and Partner policies, including without limitation the Editorial Guidelines (, Google Privacy Policy ( and Trademark Guidelines ( Policies may be modified any time. You shall direct only to Google communications regarding your ads on Partner Properties. Some Program features are identified as "Beta," "Ad Experiment," or otherwise unsupported ("Beta Features"). To the full extent permitted by law, Beta Features are provided "as is" and at your option and risk. You shall not disclose to any third party any information from, existence of or access to Beta Features. Google may modify ads to comply with any Google Property or Partner Property policies.

I don't know if these very similar problems mean that Google hired someone who developed the internationalisation tools at Yahoo!, or whether there was some open-source code-sharing going on, but I can rest easy in the knowledge that if Google ever wanted to enforce these terms on me, I could show that they were invalid.

Monday, September 5

You'll find the sword in the bottom left drawer

Could I ever be as thoughtless and in such poor taste as Tony Abbott? Making jokes about John Brogden's suicide attempt following sexual harassment revelations?

I don't think so, though maybe I could if I really, really tried. Nevertheless, if it's possible to do so without appearing insensitive and tasteless, I'd like to find a way to encourage the general premise that politicians who f*ck-up should commit suicide. They should certainly be marked "not for resuscitation" if they give it a really good go. We should respect their wishes, and deliver a coup de grace if we come across them during or immediately after an attempt. If you find yourself in this situation:

  • First, establish whether the politician is concious. Keep in mind that conciousness is a relative state - it may be difficult to rouse some older politicians after midday even when no self-harm has been attempted, and they may have simply slipped over. Keep in mind that many National Party and Independent politicians may be rambling and incoherent as a normal state and will not require your assistance.

  • Reposition the politician in the 'coma non-recovery' position. Being seated in a comfy chair in a large, airy chamber full of other politicians will have them slipping gently away in no time.

  • Check the airways. If blocked, remove any items such as feet, hats, pork barrels, or classified documents that the politician may be choking on. Re-assemble them in a more air-tight manner and re-insert them, if necessary keeping the politician physically restrained until hypoxia eventually extinguishes any remaining brain cells.

  • Check for blood-loss. If there is evidence of blood loss, try to speed it up with any sharp object to hand. Remember that right-wing politicians are unlikely to have any blood at all. Left-wing politicians may be proficient at appearing as if they are bleeding, when in fact they are just fine. So hack away until you're really sure they're deceased.

  • Don't waste time trying to find a pulse. Chances are, there hasn't been one for quite some time.

  • Some more advanced politicians, particularly cabinet ministers, prime ministers and premiers, will still be able to function normally long after they are biologically dead. You must sever the head from the body, drive a stake through the heart, and/or cremate the corpse.

Going, going... you still here?

I've got nothing against, in fact, I love that there's a place that will sell all my stuff for me on eBay. I particularly love that their office is just down the street from mine at, so I can take stuff in there and get it valued for free in my lunch break. I even respect their determination to do good works for various charities.

Here's my point: while I get the nice pun in calling the company "Going Gone", am I the only one who sees the potential for a subeditor to write a witty headline if the company one day hits financial troubles? As in:

  • Going Gone Going Nuts

  • Going Gone to see the Bank Manager

  • Going Gone, Back In 10 Minutes

  • Going Gone says, 'Still Going!'

  • Going Gone Appoints Administrator, is Going Concern

  • Going Gone Going Out Of Business

  • Was Going Gone, Now Just Gone

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