Archive for February, 2009


Web filters – The jokes on us!

Posted by Comments Off on Web filters – The jokes on us!

Well I just noticed a Lateline stream on the ABC site and now I don’t have to turn my TV on to watch the only show I watch at night. Apart from Four Corners on Monday I have no reason to turn the idiot box on at all apart from watching a DVD. Australian TV has given me the shits with its lack lustre digital TV. Reception is shit house where I live so unless I watch some commercial network the quality for the only non commercial networks is well below par and only just watchable with a lot of snow to contend with. Well SBS is semi commercialised these days but still, it has great content that’s actually worth time watching but I can’t get it so I’m stuck with ABC current affairs and poor analogue signal.

For some reason the internet is infinitely more interesting than watching TV so a live stream of Lateline is a convenient window to have open whilst I feed my addiction to the web, besides I need something to use my bandwidth on as I struggle to find anything even worth downloading half the time. I have a quota of 40 gigabytes per month but at the end of the month I feel compelled to use it on something, after all I did pay for these bits of data. So streaming some video in a legitimate manner will allow AFACT, RIAA, MAFIAA, ARIA and all the other acronyms of Industry henchmen and their puppet Senator Conroy to rest easy in their eternal pursuit to shut-down the inter webs of the disease of P2P networks while pretending to protect the children from unsavoury material that doesn’t side with the morals of the less liberal in nature.

This filter that Conroy is selling as the cure to immoral behaviour is surely an ill conceived idea and one that is doomed to just fuck us less prudent individuals over for the sake of placating some unknown group of people that deem naked flesh a sin. In all the time I’ve used the internet I’ve never come across kiddie porn nor is coming across porn an everyday occurrence unless I’ve specifically searched for it. Although Myspace seems to be filled with much nudity from spammers and what not and some torrent sites have adult material flashing up but if you’re just generally searching for something normal it’s  unlikely to come across porn and you’d have to dig pretty hard to find kiddie stuff so what exactly is this filter supposed to be protecting us from? Some horny teenager is easily gonna find porn even with a filter in place. Everyone knows about proxies so it will just maybe be annoyance to that teenage boy who has his dick in hand ready to upload a bit of his own on-screen if he misses that sock, so we all have to be penalised with slower internet because some Christian do-gooder has got it into his head to free us from temptation. Before the internet, porn was readily available, all I had to do was go down to the news agency and get a stick mag – too easy.

Isn’t filtering something parents ought to be doing by adequately supervising their kids and informing them of safe practices and educating them of danger. The real problem is not with the internet nor websites that show a bit of flesh but active predators who use  social networks to groom their prey and a filter isn’t going to protect against the cunning of some evil fucker looking to snare an innocent into his lair. No filter ever protected me from pedo’s at the local athletics club so putting a cross through isn’t going to save little Billy from some pedo from having a go through a forum or Myspace or Facebook or Twitter or a chat room or MSN or Yahoo or Skype or whatever form of communication the internet comes up with.

Isn’t the filter just a lame excuse to do nothing and perhaps give time starved parents a sense security even if it is a shallow and even false sense. If the Governement and do-gooders really wanted to do something useful in protecting children from sexual predators they’d spend the money trying to catch the pedo before he gets his hands on little Billy but ultimately it is so much easier to place a a string of text in notepad than it is to resource a full blown crackdown on pedo rings. And the notepad option also has the benefit of appeasing the multi billion dollar stake holders of copyright by making it a few more clicks harder to download that new Britney album or that latest episode of Lost.

Category : Rants | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Spam

The first wave of spam bots are infiltrating Again! Fucking spam! Previously the hole they were trying to worm their way through was closed but the sneaky fuckers don’t give in. They begin with a few posts and then just flood and bombard once they learn that I’m just deleting em. They then launch their full fledged assault showing no mercy, inundating my empty comments with their useless gibberish, selling penis enlargements and various drugs that Big Pharma charge exorbitant prices for. It boggles the mind that idiots actually follow the links of these spammers (although I must admit I’ve done it myself on occasion) and purchase the wares these spruikers are selling (which I’ve never done). Who can blame the stupid for tempting fate with the offer of cheap medication but one can’t help thinking if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. One’s bullshit meter and cynicism ought be brought into the sphere of suspicion when some dubious marketer is selling wares through mass mail outs and especially on a crappy blog such as this . Can one trust the source of the spammers offer for cheap medication as authentic? But the spammer is more likely trying to get a more prominent position on Google by flooding my blog with links and illiterate nonsense.

But who knows, maybe it makes little difference if the product is legitimate or counterfeit because all too often my cynicism returns to the idea that all medications are merely placebos. I take my fair share of medication and I don’t see any benefit, although my doctor seems adamant that I should continue with it even though half the time the condition it is purportedly trying to treat hasn’t shown a remarkable improvement. Well I haven’t stopped because I sometimes wonder if the only thing medications do is just trick our minds into believing in its efficacy and thus allowing the body to heal itself. That’s neither here nor there because spam still wants to implode this blog with its message of mail order prescription medication and male appendage ego boosts although it is mainly concerned with prescription meds.

I’ve been lucky so far because my spam filter has caught the few that have found my site but its only a matter of time before it falls over and the spam ends up displaying its nonsensical text in my comments. I could close all comments but that’s no fun. When someone leaves a comment it puts a smile on my face, having someone take the time to reply to some rant I’ve posted is cause for celebration. It doesn’t happen often and when it does I’m over the moon. Its sad and pathetic but what can a geek like me do?

As much as I hate spam and luckily not a great deal hits my main email account otherwise I’d have slashed my wrists by now, I’m rather fascinated by the whole idea and in particular how in fucks name does it make a profit? Surely no one buys the stuff they’re trying to sell or do they? Maybe one in a million and if a billion spam messages are issued by zombie PC’s then what’s that, 1000 customers who might pay 10, 20 , 30 dollars? So lets say it’s 30, that makes 30 grand for the mangy spammer who had to just infect a few websites with malware so the less technical savvy can have their PC’s join the zombie network. Not bad for a few mouse clicks work. But still it’s hard to imagine that even one in a million people could get sucked in to the sale but maybe that is the sad truth that even with such a low figure it is still profitable.

So who’s to blame? The spammer? The consumer? Multi-national Pharmaceuticals? The media? The Porn industry? All of the above?

Well penis enlargements could be attributed to the Porn Industry seeing as there are some big guys showing off their pride and joy, making my little Willy pale in comparison thus causing my ego to shatter and shrivel like my old fella on a cold winters morning and by God I just need a bigger dick so I can have some self respect. Hang on a minute what the fuck am I saying, this is a public place, I ought not share my dirty little neurosis for all to see. But can the Porn Industry be accountable for the stupid male ego – hardly!

Okay so lets place part of the blame on Big Pharma for hiking the price of medications that don’t work to highway robbery levels whilst ripping the heart out of poor grandma whose pension barely covers the cat food for tonight’s dinner let alone the dozen chemicals that is required for her to live to the age of 100. Can’t blame Grandma because- well that would just be wrong and Big Pharma is only trying to line its coffers with a few trillion dollars more. This is democracy right? And democracy is about which Corporate power gets to write policy that serves best its interest while fucking the docile slave over. We all want a democratic society and even if we don’t there is the military that’ll be more than glad to persuade us that it is the best thing for one and all. Who can argue with a such powers of persuasion?

The consumer is barely able to figure out what brand of toilet paper is better without being programmed by some Corporation on prime time television that you can have a shit and not leave skid marks on the porcelain with Brand X – special soft as silk shit house paper. So the consumer couldn’t make any sort of decision without being instructed to do so from the idiot box – that rules them out.

So that leaves the spammer and the media. The spammer is merely trying to make a buck (see Big Pharma) and provides a public service by offering cheaper alternatives although it may be somewhat unethical becasue they are bypassing the correct channels.

So who is to blame? All that remains is the media. And haven’t they been spamming for decades anyway? With unsolicited advertisements slotted in between the entertainment we so eagerly devour with a ravenous appetite to fill the void where our minds used to be? Filling it with fear and loathing so we actually do buy the wares they’re spruiking by pulling at our primal instincts. So maybe the next time you see that ad for a penis enlargement in your inbox think about where they learnt their fine art from and if thinking is too hard, just flick that remote switch to your favourite channel and wait. It won’t be long before you see and maybe the light bulb will flicker too. That flicker may be alarming at first but rest assured it is merely the harmless moment of enlightenment.

Category : Rants | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Waste

I still haven’t got around to cleaning up this pig sty I call my flat. Well it’s not mine but it is where I live and it is a mess. It seems I get distracted easily and when it comes to cleaning, it is all too easy to become “interested” in something all together different from the task at hand. I’ve made small in roads but I’ve been telling myself that I really need to clean this mess up, pretty much every week this year and it never seems to get done. Ah well, I did organise a Council clean up this week and I managed to demolish the old wardrobe I had; ready to be placed out on the street. I feel guilty by this so called waste that really could have  been re-used, but recycling isn’t as easy as one would imagine it to be. The wardrobe might have looked okay with a new paint job after a few patch jobs with some putty. If I had a house with a garage I could of used it as a storage cabinet but whilst renting, it looked pretty mangy sitting in the spare room. Although now I’ve uncovered the mangy leak or concrete cancer that is seeping through from the bathroom. Can’t win!

It disturbs me of how wasteful I am. In an age of climatic catastrophe and our landscape being inundated with waste dumped into landfill, I am painfully aware of my part in the downfall of this planet. I’m going to contribute a quantity this week to the local tip and it just seems wrong that throwing shit out is so much more easier than trying to have stuff re-used or recycled. I have too much shit that is easy to accumulate without so much as a passing thought on the consequences my whim has on the environment. I have this CRT monitor that I picked up second hand as a project I had at the time and now I have no use for it and I can’t give it away, although I have a option of getting Dell to pick it as their recycling service for their branded components but I have to go through hoops to get rid of it when I could just throw it out with  rest of the shit I put out on Wednesday night. It’s just wrong!

I have so much shit that although fun at the time, now just sits on a shelf collecting dust and being the lazy sod that I am I haven’t got around of selling or giving away. Too much stuff that eventually, more than likely will just be poured into landfill. I really need to curb this desire to consume without conscience. With flat packed rubbish furniture, cheap and easy to purchase goods there is little thought about where it all goes once the novelty is worn or a new whim supersedes the last. We are seemingly programmed to have no conscience when consuming and feeding the coffers of retail chains with cash and certainly there isn’t anything in the fine print that calls for some organised waste management from such chains, nor do they reinforce a green ideology when resources are cheaper to manufacture than dispose of.

Surely because items are designed with built in obsolescence then a portion of the ticket price ought to be laid aside for recycling by the manufacturer. In a perfect world I could buy something on a whim and then return it for recycling once the novelty and usefulness has expired. It’s pretty tragic when not even charitable organisations will accept certain items. A friend recently tried to off load a working and good quality washing machine to the Salvos but it was rejected because of some superficial rust on the outside. If they didn’t accept a high ticket priced washer then I have no hope of them collecting the mangy stuff I have. So off to the tip it goes. For wastefulness I am guilty. Of the system that supports wastefulness, I’m guilty. It will be interesting to see if  iGen will change behaviour from the extravagant wastage of GenX.

Category : Rants | Blog

The Rack

Posted by Comments Off on The Rack

I managed to complete my PC-FI rack project last weekend and I think it turned out better than I thought it would. AT first I thought it was crap but I’ve warmed a little to it. Now I need a new desk to match the teak stain but that is for another time. I’ve got too much shit as it is, I need to get rid of all the superfluous pieces of furniture that were handed to me when I was trying to get my shit together and although I was grateful to have them at the time, my tastes have matured since. Before I collect any more stuff to clutter the place up with I have to try and off load the stuff I don’t want and that is proving to be easier said than done.

Anyway, I probably need to tweak the rack slightly so the aluminium slats are sitting a little more flat. I used neoprene washers between the two metal pieces and after a rather long day drilling, filing and sanding I was anxious to just finish the damn thing and I didn’t pay enough attention to detail to get the slats flat, but I think the neoprene washers can moved closer to the centre of the slats so they don’t twist when I tighten the screws.

My Ikea mish-mash PC-FI rack in all its glory.

My next project will be to install speaker spikes into my speaker stands but after I messed up one stand already by not paying attention to where I was drilling, I have some touch up work to do with wood putty and painting. Again! I wish paint would dry quicker. I messed up the first time because I didn’t wait long enough for the shit to dry. I thought a couple of days would be sufficient but to my dismay when I used some rubber furniture feet inverted for my speakers to sit on and then deciding to use some sound barrier damping instead,  I discovered the rubber feet had dug into the paint, which as I found hadn’t hardened enough to support the weight of the speakers pushing on the edge of the feet. Into the paint they went..grrr! We live and we learn I guess but I must say I was pissed after spending days priming and painting the things only to find that my impatience ruined all my hard work.

Next will be some sound treatment for my walls. I want to mak some frames and stuff it with something to absord sound waves so they don’t reflect. That will definitely try my patience because I don’t see myself as any sort of handy man and it will be totally foreign territory trying to arrange some cloth in an artistic fashion. We’ll have to see if it eventuates. Having nowhere to work is limiting. I might have to visit my mates places to construct it. There are many downfalls to living in a flat. Maybe one day I’ll have enough money to buy a house but then I won’t have any money to buy the tools and stuff that makes DIY projects that much easier. Ah well. If I stopped spending money on my obsessions then I might have more coin to put toward the Australian dream. What can I say. I want it all and if I can’t have it all then just a little taste will do. Ridht now I’m merely tasting the fruits of the good life…which is rooted in accumulating the finer things in life. I’m not entirely sure if it really is the good life but it passes the time and gives one something to aspire to even if it is just a sensory stimilus based on material abstractions.

Category : Sight and Sound | Blog