Archive for September 2006

Google calendar – now with SMS goodness

Just looking at the settings for my Google Calendar. Look under the “Notifications” tab: it now knows about Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone in Australia, and can be configured to send sms alerts/reminders to a phone on any of those networks.

Woo!

Summer of Z, 2007 Edition

This is extremely advanced fore-warning that I intend to invade the Domain for the usual festivities this summer, particularly Symphony, which will take place on the 20th Jan.

I’m looking forward to the release of the rest of the program for the Sydney Festival on November 3 and the planning of the rest of my Summer of Z. Feel free to suggest events to me if you notice there’s something I might enjoy 🙂

I’ll post details of anything I’m attending on the site, as well as directly contacting anyone I think might be interested. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come join me though, regardless of direct invitations or not…

Lazyweb request: install iTunes 7.0.1 or not?

I notice Apple have just released iTunes 7.0.1

I didn’t like 7.0 on my windows machine and haven’t been game to update my macs yet. Can anyone tell me if 7.0.1 is at least marginally less bugridden than 7.0 appeared to be?

Thanks!

Life imitates art

A few weeks ago, I was watching Real Stories on channel 10. The episode I saw happened to feature a story on the “Celebrity Sex Tape Director”:

We reveal that so called celebrity sex tapes are actually slick productions and big business. We meet the Aussie director who has worked with some big names.

At the time, I thought this was moderately funny. Now though… I’m wondering if it was actually a joke at all.

According to news reports, Screech from Saved By The Bell has produced a sex tape. Disaster? Embarrasment? Career setback? Not at all – his manager seems thrilled:

It might not exactly be Oscar-caliber work, but Diamond’s manager, Roger Paul, seems to be at least a little happy about the development for his client. “Dustin has been trying to escape the Screech typecast. So this may help me get more bookings,” says Paul, who says he hasn’t seen the tape.

Maybe the joke wasn’t much of a joke after all.

Culture: best left for the cultured

Oh Anonymous, how right you were.

My opera buddies and I were at Rigoletto last night. During the second intermission, we made jokes that “Rigoletto? Sounds like a pasta!”

Shortly after the second intermission, the “Leggos Authentico” theme started up and we… well, we’d have rolled around laughing, but uncultured as we might be, we do have some manners, so we settled for exchanging significant glances.

Other highlights of the night:

* The leads concentrated on their job, doing a good job of singing, rather than frippery such as “draw(ing) on more contemporary and exciting sources”. As a result, we enjoyed some jolly good quality singing, with cheap ripoffs of other people’s characters

* The stage was more versatile than a two-dollar hooker. It was a lovely rotating number, allowing the stage to instantly transform from Rigoletto’s tiny dressing room to the Grand Ballroom, then to the street outside, and Rigoletto’s house.

* Did I mention that all the leads could sing? It was very nice.

* Harley ducked when I threw a malteser at him, causing me to hit the woman sitting next to him.

* Hearing the most frank admission that “I just go to be appreciated, I don’t go to play tennis” that I’ve ever heard.

* Debating whether “Singles match” or “Totem tenis” was a more chaste analogy

Dolphins more intelligent than store employees?

I seem to be doing a lot of linkblogging today.

Note to self: should set up some sort of system that does this sort of thing automatically from del.icio.us or somesuch.

The latest link comes from Jeremy Zawodny who writes about some very clever dolphins:

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans.

and some very dumb workers:

So then I opened my mouth and said something like “you have a list with 8 items on it and I have 9 items. This shouldn’t be rocket surgery.” She put the clipboard down and I started to think she realized how crazy this all was. But what happened next only served to amaze me even more! She called a co-worker over to help.

Jealousy causes sleeplessness.

Something very rare happened to me this morning: I heard some news which made me… not exactly jealous, more envious – I was talking to someone and found out they’d recently shagged someone I’ve lusted after for a very long time.

It’s always interesting when I feel this way, because it happens so rarely. This is perhaps the third time it’s ever happened to me – at least, the third time it’s been related to sex or intimacy.

Once again, it’s caused me to be unable to sleep.

The second most interesting thing about this experience is comparing this feeling to similar feelings: it’s almost identical to the feeling I get when I find out that someone has that latest gadget that I want but haven’t managed to buy yet (it doesn’t help that I have so many friends who work at Apple stores or repair centers – they *always* have the latest gadgets before me). This really does reinforce my belief that people who desire monogamy do so because they want a possession (possibly – often, in fact – to prop up their own poor self-worth)

The most interesting thing is how utterly irrational this feeling is: I realised long ago that actually sleeping with this person could only possibly be a let-down – I’ve hyped the experience in my fantasies so much that the actuality could never live up to it. I’m reliably informed that this particular person is, in fact, everything I could fantasise about and then more – but even so, I derive most of my sexual satisfaction from observing how much the other person is enjoying what I’m doing to them – I barely notice what they’re doing to me, unless I’m paying attention to it in order to figure out what they’d like done to them. The latest news about this person only reinforces what I already knew – as fantastic as this person is, he’s fantastic for other people in ways that just wouldn’t lead to a mutually enjoyable experience with me.

So, intellectually, I know I’m not missing much. It still hurts like buggery though.

On the upside, I may get to take pictures of him in action sometime, and *that* would be very, very satisfactory indeed….

Web based ≯ desktop.

Update: Thanks to James Kew and Stilgherrian, I now have two equally valid suggestions for a symbol, and I’m using one of them. This doesn’t mean that one of the suggestions was not-greater-than the other, of course..

Over here Dare is commenting on this blog post which talks about uses for authenticated feeds:

Examples of private feeds intended for 1:1 communication include bank balances, e-mail notifications, project status, and the latest bids on that big contract. Data in the wrong hands could be dangerous, and many companies will stay away from the feed syndication space until they feel their users’ personal data is secure.

Dare says that

Niall mentions white listing user agents but those are trivial to spoof. With Web-based readers, one can whitelist their IP range but there isn’t a good way to verify that the desktop application accessing your web server is really who the user agent string says it is. … This seems to be yet another example of where Web-based software trumps desktop software.

Sorry Dare, but I don’t agree. I don’t see how the web-based aggregator provides any extra security: that same keylogger/screenscraper running on my desktop that could so easily have pulled my bank details out of RSS Bandit can just as easily steal my login details to My Yahoo/Google Reader/whatever MSNs offering is/Bloglines/etc and thus expose my information.

In fact, web-based software introduces attack vectors that desktop software wouldn’t – keyloggers installed on public machines in net cafes, for instance.

I’m curious about your reasoning that a “Web-based solution trumps desktop software.” Can you expand on that?

The best things in life are…

Free? I don’t think so.

I have some really juicy stories I’d love to publish here. There’s sex.. actually, that’s about all there is, sex. It’s the connections between the people having the sex that make the stories really juicy – like the time I almost had a threesome with two of the hottest guys I know, but it didn’t happen because guy A mostly wanted B and was just going to shag me as well because he didn’t think he could get B without me – but B steadfastly refuses to shag me, and so played dumb and thus avoided the threesome, even though he probably would have shagged A if he’d been alone.

Actually, there’s no sex in that story, but that’s because it’s a story I can tell. The really juicy ones, the ones that blow even my jaded mind – they involve other people, and I can’t tell them here without disclosing information about other people, which just wouldn’t be fair.

Eat thine own dogfood

So.

I’ve been reading up on Rails and starting to teach myself a new language for the second time this millenium.

I decided to try the Ruby mailing lists. They have an admin interface at http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo. I went and filled in my details on forms, but got an error.

The main page also says that If you are having trouble using the lists, please contact mailman@lists.rubyonrails.org., so I decided to give that a try.

Unfortunately, that also gave me an error, partially reproduced below:


I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.



For further assistance, please send mail to 

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.



: Command died with status 1:

   "/usr/local/mailman/postfix-to-mailman.py". Command output: Traceback (most

   recent call last): Logging error:  Traceback (most recent call last):   File

   "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Logging/Logger.py", line 91, in write

   f.write(msg)   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.4/codecs.py", line 501, in

   write     return self.writer.write(data)   File

   "/usr/local/lib/python2.4/codecs.py", line 179, in write

   self.stream.write(data) IOError: [Errno 28] No space left on device

   Original log message: [Errno 28] No space left on device   File

   "/usr/local/mailman/scripts/post", line 69, in ? Logging error:

    Traceback (most recent

   call last):   File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Logging/Logger.py", line 91,

   in write     f.write(msg)   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.4/codecs.py", line

   501, in write     return self.writer.write(data)   File

   "/usr/local/lib/python2.4/codecs.py", line 179, in write

   self.stream.write(data) IOError: [Errno 28] No space left on device



It wasn’t until I’d looked at this a few times before I realised the irony.

(If you get this, you’re a geek. If you don’t get this, you might be a geek anyway, but not a programming geek).