Posts tagged rant

BeOS, the Amiga, now the iPhone?

It hurts the brain!
It hurts the brain!

I've always thought it's a tragedy when a beautiful and elegant computer or other device is created that is such a pleasure to use and above everything else on the market, only to be snuffed out or not taken seriously when inept management and legal teams mess up their customer base and public perception by doing daft things, or conversely not doing enough. The Commodore Amiga is one example. The Swatch Smart car is another. BeOS is another. I could go on and on.

Unfortunately it seems Apple's legal team is doing the same thing with the iPhone. Hooray.

As I've recently discussed on Rubenerd Show 252 and in an earlier post here, I've made clear how much I love my new toy and how it's quite possibly the greatest gadget I've ever owned. This doesn't mean I have not been aware of some head-smackingly stupid decisions on Apple's part over the last few months, not least the issue with blocking some legitimate software from appearing on their Application Store. For those who don't know what I'm taking about, here's a summary from Gizmodo dated 12th September:

The latest casualty in Apple’s App Store blacklisting is Podcaster. A native app built according to exact SDK specifications, it goes beyond its creator’s web-bound streaming-only by letting you download and manage podcasts in a nice straightforward interface. Insidious, right? Apple thought so.

According to Podcaster’s blog, Apple explained why it booted Podcaster from the App Store: “Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.”

I don't know what person in Apple thought blocking applications that supposedly copy some functionality in their own software was a good idea from a technical or public relations standpoint, but I suspect the dope their smoking must be awfully powerful!

If this wasn't ridiculous enough, my forehead hurt even more this morning by bashing it on the table in front of me when I read that not only are Apple blocking some applications for the dubious reason stated above, but their even forcing blocked application developers to keep their mouths shut about it! Do they honestly think this will save them from this public relations nightmare: just censor the people getting screwed over? According to Tech Radar this morning:

Apple has decided that enough is enough when it comes to people publishing the reasons they have had their applications rejected from the App Store.

Where before people wanted to highlight the reasons why their app had been rejected, Apple no longer wants to have its reputation sullied in this manner.

Every time a user now gets a rejection, the message: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MESSAGE IS UNDER NON-DISCLOSURE is displayed clearly in the letter.

I dislike the Google Android platform both from a technical and usability standpoint and think the devices they run on look like they came out of a 1996 computer magazine catalogue, but the one thing they have going for them is that it's a (mostly) open platform without this nonsense. I prefer using the iPhone but I'm hoping Google can pick up their game and become a real competitor to get Apple back on track.

In the meantime Apple, please don't repeat history as with so many of the other brilliant software and hardware devices I mentioned at the beginning by stuffing up your device with this nonsense! You've already shot yourselves in the foot twice already, for heavens sake, you're running out of limbs!

Screenshot from my iPhone

On the Mawson Lakes library and common sense

ASIDE: This post was created (according to the time stamp) on the 9th of September 2008, but for some reason it was relegated to my ever increasing Drafts folder instead of being published. I’m publishing it now with it’s original time stamp today on 7th of October 2008.

The Mawson Lakes library is a library located in Mawson Lakes, surprising though it may seem. Given it's proximity to the Mawson Lakes campus of my university, I can go to said library and use their computers with my student ID instead of registering with the library. Convenient right?

Alas this afternoon I needed to print a document on some form of pulp based paper material; I barely use the stuff but apparently some people still use it. So I plugged in my memory key, opened the PDF file, and clicked print. I then proceeded to the gigantic printer photocopier monstrosity looming in the corner of the room, only to realise that the printout want coming out.

Upon asking a library assistant why my printout was failing, I was told that because I used my student ID instead of a library ID, my printing would not in fact be carried out by the printing machine in the room in which we were both located, but rather in the university's main computer pools. This meant despite the printer being right next to me, I was told my printout was taking place on a device in a building three blocks away!

Photo of the Mawson Lakes library
Photo of the Mawson Lakes library from their website
curiously saved as a GIF of all things

I guess it does make sense though; why should my geographic location and method of authentication have anything to do with where my printouts are printed? Besides, they know this campus deals with computing, science and engineering, perhaps they know we don't get as much exercise and they're just trying to help!

In any event when you have someone who desperately needs to print something to prove he's paid his rent, it doesn't help when the system routes your printout to another building, despite there being a printer right next to you!

The way universities treat us, banks treat us, telephone companies treat us… it begs the question: where the heck is the common sense!? Oh yeah, I forgot: you have to pay extra for that as stated in Form 82, Section 12a, Paragraphs 91-97 and 132-912, excluding those printed in blue and/or serif font.

Rendering sports commentators unnecessary!

Anti Football League

It's official, the Adelaide Crows are out of the AFL grand finals. This means one important thing: the AFL football season is almost over! Yay! As I've always said, I've made no effort to cover up my distaste for AFL and NRL in Australia; I've argued that even we ignored the gross, disproportionate amount of money they waste, they're just plain boring to watch! You can run with the ball, and you can still get points for missing? Come on guys!

What I do love though is reading and listening to sports commentators and coaches analyse games. For the latest results for the Adelaide Crows, the first question the sports commentators posed was "what went wrong?". Coach Neil Craig then proceeded to discuss strategies, profiles of the players and so forth. I could have answered that question for them: "They didn't kick enough points. Next!"

I've already mentioned the Anti-Football League back in August 2006, but I figure I should mention it here again.

The Anti-Football League (AFL) is an Australian organisation of individuals who are indifferent to the excessive fervour that afflicts supporters of the Australian code of football known as Australian Rules Football (”Aussie Rules”).

The AFL stands apart from the Football mania that is ever increasingly saturating our workplaces, media outlets and public spaces, and which at certain times of the year reaches excessive and epidemic proportions.

AFL members have fought hard to maintain an immunity to this unfortunate affliction which affects many tens of thousands of Australians. League members are united by the common understanding that there is more to life than the ability to kick a pigskin between two white posts.

Sustainable Olympics? Haha!

This was originally intended as another section to be tacked onto the end of my latest musings post, but I felt so strongly about it and had so much to say, I figure it makes sense to post it separately. I'd post it together you see, but I don't have enough stamps, nor a postal bag big enough. Actually I might have a postal bag big enough, but it's full of wheatberries.

I've been told the Olympics are over. One of my good Twitter friends Mike Sullivan who also bases himself in Singapore said the fireworks from the closing ceremony probably put back our efforts to slow global warming by at least 10 years! I can remember having similar feelings whenever I watched the fireworks in Sydney for New Years each year: all that smoke and burnt up material seemed so wasteful. I guess I'm unromantic in that way!

The Clannad folks playing tennis. Tomoya doesn't look impressed!
The Clannad folks playing tennis. Tomoya doesn't look impressed!

I just can't believe it's over already. Part of me feels as though it dragged on forever, but the other part is drinking coffee. Wait, I got sidetracked, let me try that again. The other part of me feels as though it only just started. As a person who feels sustainable development is more important than exponential growth, the Olympics for me has come to stand for wasteful spending and ridiculous extravagance, not least because of the time frame in which it's played and how much money goes into it for such a short amount of time. Sure the facilities that are built can be used later, but realistically can that really be used to justify the cost?

This isn't to say I think Olympic games have always been nauseatingly wasteful, but the last half a dozen have certainly… taken the gold. In China's case though, it wasn't just limited to government spending. My father who does a lot of business in Beijing said numerous times during the lead-up to the games that to cope with the pollution, factories and plants he was overseeing were being told to close, and they weren't even leading offenders! For other firms that benefited from the Olympics, he can name several that defaulted on payments and had to close down as a result of not being able to manufacture their goods. Again there have been new public spaces created, subway lines etc, but one can't help but think there would have been a better way of doing it.

ASIDE: A post about the Chinese Olympics wouldn’t be complete without a Westerner complaining about Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan, so consider that taken care of! Don’t worry, I voted against John Howard who took Australia to Iraq!

This issue makes my head hurt.
This issue makes my head hurt.

Now we come to the issue of Australia at the Olympics. When you consider that Australia is a country with just over 20 million people, it is staggering that it appears alongside China and the United States in the medal tallies with hundreds of millions of people. Per capita, Australia is one of the most successful sporting nations on Earth. Whoopty-do. So, what's the catch?

Unfortunately, such an enviable position doesn't come cheap. According to an article published yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald, a newspaper from Sydney of all places (sometimes I surprise even myself!), the 13 gold medals won by Australian athletes at the Beijing 2008 games cost Australian taxpayers…

$16.7 million

Not only that, but the federally funded Australian Institute of Sport costs a few more million a year, not to mention each of the state government sponsored training centres which combined are estimated to blow out that initial figure to over $100 million.

TAXPAYERS have forked out $16.7 million through direct federal grants for each of the 13 gold medals won by Australia’s Olympic team in Beijing.

But sports academic James Connor said even that figure is an underestimate once funding by state governments, and the cost of sporting infrastructure, such as the high-tech $17 million Australian Institute of Sport swimming pool, are taken into account.

“The real price of a gold medal would be three, four or five times higher, up to $100 million,” [told] Dr Connor.

~ Going for Gold, but at what cost?

The Brittas Empire!
5 minutes at the Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre is all those athletes would need!

So we come to the inevitable, unavoidable question: is it worth it? I'm not sure that it is. Sure I have my own biases against athletes in general, but I honestly can't help but think some of this money could have been put to better use. And I can't stand fuzzy justifications like it boosts moral, national pride etc, that attempt to speak on behalf of everyone, like this paragraph from another article from the Sydney Morning Herald:

When the farmers, public servants, shop assistants, tradesmen, students and motley sporting obsessives are chosen for elite training and then selected to represent their country, an investment has been made in world’s best practice and the social benefits that flow from tangible success on a world stage that can be enjoyed across the social spectrum. As Australians have excelled, out of proportion to their numbers, from generation to generation, it suggests that something powerful, something money can’t buy, comes from wearing the wattle green and gold.

~ Let the medal tallies begin in 1954: Sydney Morning Herald

I don't like being talked about on my behalf, especially with regards to something like this. I feel far more proud when an Australian develops a medical vaccine, or a more efficient way to desalinate water for people in desperately poor countries, or when an Australian comedy team releases a hilarious new TV series. Not only do these things help far more people, but their effects outlast a gold medal.

The Clannad folks playing tennis. Tomoya doesn't look impressed!
Yay for athletic government grants!

Australia is often stereotyped as a country full of people who all love watching sport, but talking to people since coming back here, I'd say less than half were interested in watching Olympics, or AFL, or any other sport. Given this, I'm sure there's at least a statistically significant slice of the Australian population that have their priorities somewhere else, but alas as long as some people think it's worth spending millions upon millions of dollars on training athletes, I guess we'll continue to spend money in said fashion. It's not that I'm bitter or anything, it's more to do with the fact that I'm a bit bitter!

So anyway we've finished up with the Olympics for another four years. I was going to say "flash in the pan" but chose not to, because doing so would make me look bitter, and the last thing I want to do is look as though I'm bitter in any way.

Virgin Broadband doesn’t like my money!

ASIDE: Considering the phone company in question, I was going to title this post "Screwed over by a virgin", but that’s a little too much even for this site I think. I do think, it only hurts sometimes.

Another day, another major problem with a phone company. I'm starting to think they're more evil than… other evil corporations.

Today marked the end of the long and involved adventure with Virgin Broadband, Virgin Mobile Australia's wireless broadband service. This system allows you to connect your laptop wirelessly (no, really?) through the Virgin 3G phone network to the intertubes for a fixed amount per month, plus the cost of the small USB modem. In Singapore, the public Wireless@SG WiFi network service is ubiquitous, but in Adelaide WiFi connections are fairly spare by comparison and not interconnected, so I figured this wireless broadband service would be quite handy.

Virgin Broadband's wireless service
Virgin Broadband's wireless service

Enter the phrase "capacity to pay". The idea behind this boneheaded system of checks is to ensure that prospective clients have the ability to meet their financial obligations each month for the lifetime of the contract, in this case with Virgin Mobile's 23 month wireless broadband plan. Simple and straightforward enough right? Of course not!

This is how it works: once you've registered and provided them was enough personal information to allow them to easily steal and assume your identity for malicious purposes involving grilled cheese sandwiches, you must provide them with a bank statement showing your last several paychecks or other forms of income. The bank account must be Australian, and no other form of proof is accepted.

This means that, despite my bank account clearly showing regular deposits from clients (or as regular as you could expect from a self employed person such as myself) which, after conversion to Aussie dollars more than meets the minimum income requirement… because it is with a Singaporean bank it is comepletely useless. Visiting a local Australian branch of DBS and printing the statement in Australia doesn't qualify me. Heck, not even my credit card is an acceptable form of proof.

ASIDE: Forgive me for the following transport related metaphors, I hate them as much as you do but they’re so especially apt under these circumstances. Next time I’ll go back to talking about grilled cheese sandwiches and Chuck Peddle, I promise.

Now let's take a step off the insanity bus and instead board the clue train. If their stated purpose was to verify my "capacity to pay", what does the location of the account have to do with verifying my finances? If they're worried my foerign bank doesn't exist or that I forged the documents, does not the fact that I printed them here in Australia negate this? Wouldn't it be just as easy to contact the local branch of a foreign bank here as to contact a local bank?

The Hello Kitty… credit card?
I don't know why they didn't think I was serious with my credit card.
Photo from

Then we come to the ridiculous rejection of a credit card as a form of proof of "capacity to pay" regardless of where it came from. Think about this rationally for a second: for a person to have been offered the use of a credit card, a financial institution such a bank, credit union, building society or the like would have checked their income, credit history and employment details and deemed them an acceptable risk to be issued with a line of easy to access credit. In other words, said financial institution feels comfortable with the card holder's ability to pay their debts. Isn't this what Virgin Mobile is claiming to be looking for?

This considered, I would think a credit card would in fact be a more reliable way of proving income and "capacity to pay" than than a bank account which you can prove income now, but there's nothing to say that cash flow will cease once you've been approved! From Virgin Mobile's perspective, a credit card would ensure more deductions go through than a bank account which may or may not have the capacity for overdraft. Mmm, overdraft.

The only factor left in all this nonsense that I can imagine Virgin Mobile would lean on is the argument that they're helping themselves limit flight risk. Appreciate for a second how ridiculous this claim is when compared to any other internet service provider: sure a regular ISP only works in the address you've assigned it to, but what's to stop you from leaving that house, phone line and ISP the week after you register? And when you register for Virgin Mobile broadband you need to provide them with a home address anyway! What's the hang up?

Flight risk?
Flight risk? Photo by Walter Van Bel

No, I think this all boils down to two things: laziness and inflexibility, particularly ironic given they're the two attributes the sexy and alternative Virgin Mobile folks claim to be different in compared to the competition!

What boggles my mind more than anything else in this whole mess though is that I was a customer who wanted to give them money, and they turned me down not because I didn't have enough of it, but because it wasn't the "right" money!

Not to inflate my own sense of self importance, but such devices that are used in public are a great form of advertising. Apple has known this and capitalised on it with the glowing Apple logos embezzled on the lids of their laptops for years. This means there will be one less Virgin Mobile advertisement walking around, perhaps one more of their competition.

Virgin Mobile's broadband slogan is: "Are you with us or what?". I'd answer "what"… amongst a few other words of the same length!

Telecommunications infrastructure shock…?

When you move overseas to another country, it's common to experience culture shock. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. If I see one more book talking about culture shock, I'm going to publish a book of my own called "You Really Expected People To Act The Same Here As They Did At Home?"

No, what I'm more interested in is infrastructure differences, specifically telecommunications infrastructure differences. I call it, "telecommunications infrastructure shock". I think it just might catch on.

ASIDE: I made a note of saying to another country alongside overseas because I’m sure it’s quite reasonable to assume in my professional capacity as an overly verbose weblog poster that there will be some people who move "over a sea" while still remaining in the same country. Like moving from South Australia to Tasmania. Or Vienna to Zurich (?). Or from one side of Mawson Lakes to the other side of Mawson Lakes.

Does a lake count as a sea? As in, is my Mawson Lakes analogy above sound? Does a solid central European landmass count as a sea? Is the Vienna analogy sound? Can you still call it a bowl of oats if you replace the milk with transmission fluid and the vegetable matter with licorice?

For example, this longwinded post was created just so I could share with you a small detail about getting our study home in Adelaide connected to the all the internets. In Singapore to get your home connected, you would go to the ISP and ask to be connected in the morning, and by that evening you'd be wasting time looking at Wikipedia pages on Japanese television programmes.

In Australia, the estimated connection time after a successful application from scratch is a little bit longer:

Four to six weeks. Please excuse me while I walk over to a concrete wall and bash someone's head on it. I'd like to bash my own head on it, but I have an important assignment due in a few days. This post coming to you from a coffee shop WiFi connection… as I think many more will be for a long time to come!

Back in Adelaide, world business rant

I'm currently in the process of moving to Adelaide for my next 6th month study period ending around Christmas. I'm typing this at Adelaide Airport (the new one that I posted about back in 2006) because we're in the process of looking for houses and don't have a reliable source of internet just yet. I might be able to post a few short Twitter messages from my phone.

Photo of Adelaide: the colour saturation might be slightly off!

We went via Perth and spend a few days there, Perth really is a beautiful place. If I weren't already halfway through studies here I would seriously consider studying there! Again I've got some photos but the internet here isn't reliable enough to let me upload huge file right now. Stay tuned.

I'm missing Singapore, and KL, and Asia already, but we went to IKEA this afternoon and it felt as though we were right back there again! When people say how the world is becoming so generic as a result of companies setting up shop in multiple countries, a part of my appreciates the fact I can walk into a Starbucks and an IKEA in Adelaide, Singapore or KL and I'm in a familiar environment and I can order the same stuff… it's very comforting in a 1980s born child who's living in a place where he didn't grow up and who seems to be a hopeless consumerlittle commonality is good, right? It's okay to be all right with at least some of this right?

Perhaps I should just stop talking before I dig myself even deeper into this hole.

Cheerio everyone :-).

On Zimbabwe and operating systems

Slashdot is a fantastic tech news website not necessarily for TFAs that they summarise and present, but for the phone book length pages of comments. I generally skim and read the more interesting quips, but I do post comments of my own from time to time if I feel I have something to contribute; if someone's made a mistake I'm not the one who posts "Eeeeeeerrrrr, ur an idiot".

Unfortunately one person posting this evening on the article Should the Linux Desktop Be "Pure?" certainly deserved the aforementioned comment sent to him. Multiple times. Snail mailed, emailed, carrier pidgin-ed, sky written, stapled to his face if I had the choice.

To put the message in context, this was the comment above it in the stream by Loganrapp:

Hey, stop talking like this is a great and epic struggle.
Zimbabwe is a great struggle. We’re just talking about computer operating systems.

Zimbabwean women want Dignity.Period!While I believe open standards and free and open source software have the potential to do tremendous good and revolutionise the world in so many ways, I do agree with this guy: what we’re sacrificing with closed standards and software is nothing compared to the struggles of Zimbabwe and her people.

It seems this view is not shared by Jah-Wren Ryel though. When I read this comment, I felt like putting my fist through the computer screen.

No, you are wrong.

Zimbabwe is currently playing out a story that the earth has seen thousands of times in all corners. Each time it plays out, it only effects a small group of people. Sure it effects them drastically, but in the big picture its nothing new and does not have much of an impact beyond Zimbabwe’s neighbors.

On the other hand, the current OS monopoly on the desktop affects hundreds of millions, maybe even more than a billion people world-wide across all countries. And in a more general sense, the “freedom vs control” of information conflict that this is a part of affects the destiny of the entire human race.

Just because the issues are more abstract with less of an obvious impact does not mean they are less important. To dismiss them in that way would be kind of like the farmers in the 13 colonies complaining that those dolts at that constitutional convention have their heads’ up their asses, they ought to be doing something about this season’s drought instead of blowing so much hot air around.

For some reason Slashdot’s server wasn’t letting me post my reply, so to help me feel at least a bit better I’ve posted what I intended to say below. Normally I like to remain upbeat in my replies to rude people and assume good intentions, because not only do I find it a nicer and more civilised thing to do, but in many cases helps to draw up a more meaningful conversation than one that just ends up falling into a name calling session. This post I took the gloves off:

Normally I like to think of myself as a good net citizen: I don’t abbreviate words, I form full sentences, and when replying to polarizing messages I try my best to assume good intentions. I’m going to break away from doing this for your message, because to be blunt, you’re completely full of shit.

Trivializing what the people in Zimbabwe are going through right now is, to use the most polite word I can think of right now, disgusting. I don’t care how you rationalise it by saying that it’s a repeated story throughout human history, the people of Zimbabwe (and many, many, many other countries) are going through absolute hell right now and they don’t need a rich person in the developed world thousands of kilometers away who can afford a computer, food and shelter saying that they’re struggles to stay alive and raise children under a brutal government are less important than a damned operating system.

I tell you what Jah-Wren Ryel, grow a pair and you make your way down to Zimbabwe right now, live how the people are living there now, then come back to me and talk about why the great software struggle is more important. Until then, shut your closed-minded, arrogant mouth and stop spouting garbage.

My other concern is that people seem to feel the need to say that "one issue" is more important than "the other issue" when they’re either mutually exclusive or might as well be. The dignity of the Zimbabwean people doesn’t need to be trampled to make a case for free software.

What bothers me even more though is that this jackass was actually given "+5 Interesting" in moderation points, when the poster above him who made the initial comment was only given a "+4".

I am so absolutely disillusioned with people in my own industry and with humans in general right now.

Welcome to Zimbabwe sign, by the writer of the Esibayeni Diaries
Welcome to Zimbabwe sign, by the writer of the Esibayeni Diaries

I’m very proud of this svelte post

I'm typing this post in Vim because Vim is infinitely sexier than GNU Emacs. I'm sorry you may not agree, but that doesn't make your point of view any less incorrect. Vim also wasn't named after a CRT budget Apple computer… uh, yeah.

With my latest move back to Adelaide for the next semester imminent, with assignments due and with a work project needing to be finished… all before Monday… I figure now is as good a time as any to sit down with a fresh cup of coffee that will no doubt at this time of night give me insomnia again in a few hours, and discuss something utterly pointless, trivial and serve just to trumpet my own frustrations which very few people would actually care about.

Ruben, I didn't understand a word of what you posted
This is a picture of an IKEA chair. Probably make of wood.

My current favourite word again is "svelte". No, I'm not describing my favourite word as svelte, I'm saying that my favourite word itself is the word "svelte". Clear as mud, right?

According to the English Wiktionary, the dictionary sister site to the English Wikipedia with a logo that's somewhat less interesting and certainly not as visually dimensional (it's missing one entirely, to be accurate) the word svelte was originally derived from the Italian "svelto" which means "stretched out". In English we've adapted the word to mean "Attractively thin; gracefully slender" which is "Used mainly as a compliment, whereas words like thin and skinny could be used in negative connotations.".

Now bear with me. With the latest trends in consumer electronics emphasising smaller, more lightweight, more efficient, more portable… words such as cute, sleek and stylish are used in reviews and by people more often than… something that is used very often. A "nerd getting the nice girl" anime plotline? Excuses by apologists to dismiss criticism of Windows Vista? Lindsay Lohan's breathaliser?

ASIDE: The next computer that tells me one more time that I’m spelling emphasising and breathaliser wrong is going to be kicked black and blue. Those colours aren’t really my favourite but they convey the message I’m trying to conceptualise.

This is a great post so far, isn't it?

For example, take a look at this fair and impartial statistical comparison of the occurrence of the adjectives I just listed according to this particular website which searches other websites by using some form of backend engine, or "search engine" to use the current lingo. I added an unrelated phrase to be the scientific control.

Search Term Google Results Notes
Cute about 327,000,000 Wow, that’s a lot!
Sleek about 46,400,000 An enviable number
Stylish about 101,000,000 Aka: lots
"Grilled Cheese Sandwich" about 377,000 Our very scientific control
Svelte about 1,920,000 That’s it!?

That's right; a word which is able to condense three separate terms into one is used at best 4.14% of the time, and at worst 0.59% on the intertubes. Not one single intertube, every single one. Curiously, it is more commonly used than "Grilled Cheese Sandwich" which is interesting considering Yahoo (a competing search engine) claims it is their number one query. I base that on absolutely nothing, but that's okay because I've heard from some American friends of mine that some people over there are paid to do it, so it must be a legitimate way to pake a moint. Sorry, make a point.

Ruben, I didn't understand a word of what you posted
Funny, it doesn't LOOK like a grilled cheese maker…

This is a serious problem. Not only is the repetitious use of those words very repetitive, but also turns articles about up and coming technological devices which deserve far more interesting language and thought, into dull boilerplate derived yawnfests that read virtually the same every single time. It's also exceedingly repetitive.

There's also a technological price to be paid every time those three words are used instead of such a an efficient words as svelte. What absolutely astonishes me is that people are so concerned about the role peer to peer software, streaming vidoes and internet telephony…

ASIDE: Telephony to me always sounded like a word for a telephone system and network that unsuspecting people use and end up getting royally ripped off on. In other words, every telephone any of us will ever use.

It could also mean than the phone itself is phoney and actually serves another purpose. Why, the fax machine for example is just a waffle iron with a phone attached right? Why not a device that looks like a phone, but is actually a shoe? Wait, I got that the wrong way around. I’d better start getting smart.

…being targeted as the reasons why the intertubes are slowing down for so many people, nobody is bothering to discuss or investigate the role inefficient language is having on traffic and available bandwidth. Useless weblog posts that are largely fluff and add nothing valuable to internet discourse as a whole are also to blame for lots of wasted bandwidth, not to mention time.

You know who never had bandwidth problems? MacGyver. I don't have a picture of him handy though, so here's a picture of a couple of cops on Segways.

So the next time you see an iPhone (that the owner managed to activate, zing!), or a new portable GPS device for your motor scooter, or a titanium cheese grater complete with leather case and gold plated handles, consider using the word which this post has been all about, instead of a combination of less efficient – and far more common – words. I forget now what the word I was advocating the use of is exactly, but I'm sure it will come to me when I'm thinking about something else.

For example, I was searching for my denture adhesive this afternoon. I don't wear dentures and have therefore never needed to buy denture adhesive, so searching for it was proving to be exceedingly difficult and largely fruitless. However while performing said search I was able to locate my long lost… wait now I forget what it was I found. Svelte! That's the word I was trying to think of above! Works every time. Unlike this ridiculous post that should never have been created, and for it's existance I sincerely apologise.

Ruben, I didn't understand a word of what you posted
Ruben, I didn't understand a word of what you posted

I’m not being blocked so far!

My fabulous father is currently on assignment at a few plants in China, and I got an email from him this morning. From a local cafe he's currently able to access all the stuff hosted on the Rubenerd Show domain (including the blog you're reading now) as well as my Twitter feed.

In a way I'm relieved, but in a way I'm disappointed. Obviously they don't consider me enough of a threat to their Great Firewall nor to their squeaky clean media. I'm obviously not doing as much as I thought!

On the whole my dad really likes mainland China and the Chinese people, not to mention their food (I'm jealous!) but as I think most of us do he has some real issues with their government. It's a shame when pundits label an entire race of people evil when it's just their government they disagree with. Perhaps I think this way because I've lived outside my country of birth for so long and get to see Asian opinions of Australia and the West from the outside myself… we're not exactly angels ourselves in many ways!

And herein ends my potentially sensitive post!

UPDATE! I've been informed the following sites are also in the clear:

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