February 2008

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I think the real estate industry is eating itself. A house I used to live in in Adelaide has its own website!

[Update 7 August 2009: Alas, the website has now disappeared. What a shame.]

26 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | 5 comments

There’s a piece in The Australian today with info on the current status of the government’s Internet filtering plan. Will try to find time for some commentary later.

26 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | 1 comment

Bored by pornography? You’re not the only one, according to The Onion.

Jaded by the sight of what it deemed “run-of-the-mill” orifices, the nation’s pornography-saturated populace released a statement Monday demanding a new bodily opening to leer at. “At this point, staring at an anus, vagina, or beckoning mouth has become so commonplace that it is no more titillating than ogling, say, the human elbow.”

Read the whole article to discover what the populace demands in its new orifice, so to speak. Hat-tip to Boing Boing.

Image from Ballad for Worlds Fair movie

Three quick movies for you to watch on a lazy Sunday… things which I’ve been sent over the last week.

  1. The 15-minute promotional film A Ballad for the Fair (pictured) tours the 1964 New York World’s Fair, with an emphasis on communications technology since it was produced by Bell System. Marvel at the video-phone! Warning: there is folk music. Hat-tip to Paleo-Future.
  2. A creepy community service announcement about violence against women starring Australia’s celebrity criminal Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read. Chopper even has his own website. Hat-tip to Rhys McDonald via Five Thumbs Down. Check the latter for an amusing AFL players’ social guide.
  3. The US shoots down a spy satellite. Thanks, Richard. I won’t bother discussing the military-strategy and international-politics angles of that one, there’s plenty elsewhere.

Trinn Suwannapha photo: Pink Force

’Pong’s photograph Pink Force (above) was a finalist in the Sydney Now, a photojournalism contest run by the Historic Houses Trust. Congrats, babe! [high-resolution version]

Image of Sigmund Freud

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll find myself at an event called Putting The Penis Into Envy, On The Couch With Sigmund Freud. “Sigmund Freud is synonymous with sexuality — penis envy, mother love, the Oedipus Complex, therapy for heavens sake! In the Gothic splendour of the Nicholson Museum and an informal champagne cream tea, a panel in the field will discuss gay issues raised by the work of Freud. An exhibition from the Freud Museum in London displays antiquities that surrounded and influenced the man.” Hosted by Marc Pesce, of all people. Wanna join me?

23 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | 4 comments

Spam subject line just received: “Voted the most effective male enlargement supplement product by MYSPACE users.” Well, there’s a recommendation, eh?

22 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | 2 comments

Senator Stephen Conroy had the perfect opportunity to explain his Internet censorship plans last night: his first major address as minister to the IT industry at a gala dinner. But according to iTnews Australia‘s report, he added nothing new.

“Labor has never argued that ISP filtering is a silver bullet solution, but it is an important step in the overall strategy to make the internet a safer place for children,” Conroy said.

Although he acknowledged ISP level filtering could potentially affect Internet speeds, Conroy added little else to quell concerns surrounding the issue, other than to say there would be a trial process to iron out any technical anomalies.

“I can assure you that we will go forward through an informed, consultative and considered process to ensure that a workable solution is found,” Conroy said. “This evening, I ask the industry to continue engaging with the Government and with my Department to ensure that we achieve an outcome for ISP filtering that meets the needs of industry and the wider community.”

Senator Conroy, apart from actually addressing everyone’s concerns, technical and social, eventually you do need answer the basic question: What will and will not be censored?

Read the rest of this entry »

Nominations for the Australia 2020 Summit have been extended to 29 February due to “a high level of interest from Australians”. I suspect it’s really because they haven’t got their shit together ducks in a row, but hey, it’s an extra 4 days. No rush for me now.

22 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | No comments

Brad Kellett has started a website documenting Obsolete Skills. Things like “interpolating logarithms” and “carving a nib into a quill”. The list currently over-emphasises the interests of urban computer geeks, who seem to forget that 96% of the planet does not live in a high-tech apartment, but there are still gems to be found. “Caulking your wagon to ford the river,” anyone?

22 February 2008 by Stilgherrian | No comments

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