Archive for January 2007

Just ordered my n800.

The title says it all, really.

I can’t wait till it arrives and I can start playing with it.

Thank you, Leslie, you’re awesome 🙂

Unrelatedly, I apologise for the spam comments that appeared here over the last day or so, particularly to anyone who reads the comments feed and saw them.

Unrelatedly again, do you know Satoshi?

From Steev + Quote of the day

Quote of the day #1:

Oh, you’re the camera, hi! How are you? This is awesome, I really appreciate you being in my computer, because I have lots of interesting things to say…

Quote of the day #2:

(During a conversation on where beatiful people come from)

Other person: Persians, there are lots of hot Persians

James Dumay: Yes, and lots of hot Iranians too

Cool comments

Over the last few days I’ve had a couple of interesting comments here.

The first was an Cuppy’s Coffee & More:

In May 2006, Medina Enterprises, a Nevada based company, purchased the assets of Java Jo’z Coffee & More, LLC, and Emerald Coast Manufacturing Inc. From this transaction, the principle owner of Medina formed an association with another individual, and Cuppy’s Coffee & More, an international coffee franchise, emerged.

Kinda cool, but all it really means is that someone is paying attention to their brand.

The second is much more interesting:

Assuming that the date of your post is the same date the events that you described occured, I was at Auchenflower station 2 days before you were — The reason the change machine was broken was because my $5 note got jammed in there – Hate those change machines. I guess I should say sorry for any inconvenience caused…But it’s not my fault that Queensland Rail (or whoever it is that services those change machines) are lazy 😛

Mouse, whoever you are, apology accepted 🙂

Apple's iPhone defended

A nice article tearing holes in most of the common “The iPhone isn’t going to be successful” arguments.

By “nice”, I of course mean that it takes the apple-fanboy point of ciew, and argues it very well.

The most interesting part though relates to why Apple are selling it exclusively through Cingular:

When a phone is unlocked it loses its privileges on a provider’s data network. An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet, no iTS.

Essentially, the article argues that if they didn’t lock the phone to Cingular, they’d not have the ability to use any of the carrier’s data features.

Here in .AU, that’s not an issue – carriers will happily let unlocked phones use their data features – just as long as you’re on a many-month contract and paying through the nose. The only locked phones I know of that get sold here are sold with pre-paid plans, and they’re only locked to present some small barrier to switching prepaid carriers easily.

So, does that mean we’re likely to get unlocked iPhones here? I have a feeling we won’t, for two reasons:

A) The article also mentions that by forcing the phone to be bundled with a two-year plan, Apple are effectively hiding part of the cost of the phone from the consumer – the rest of the cost is hidden in the cost of the contract. If they weren’t bundled, they’d have to have a higher price. The same is going to happen here.

A-counter) That said, Australians are quite comfortable with the choice of either getting a phone cheaply on a plan, or paying much more and paying for it up-front. Perhaps the higher price will be more bearable as an option here.

B) The phone uses EDGE for high-speed access; as far as I know, only one carrier (Telstra) in Australia has an EDGE network, so it makes sense to have a deal with that carrier.

I hope I’m wrong. My loathing of Telstra is sufficiently strong that if it’s a choice between an inferior phone on a superior carrier, or the iPhone on Telstra, I’m going to have to choose the inferior phone, and that’s going to upset me.

Universal binaries suck

Universal binaries suck.

Yes, they’re lovely. Yes,it’s great that the droolers who use macs don’t have to figure out which version to download, they just get a universal binary and everything magically works no matter they’re platform. Yes, I’m sure it’s even great for developers, not having to seperately code two apps.

But. A universal binary is just the PowerPPC version bundled with the Intel version (please, please correct me if I’m wrong). I know which version fnord I want – I’ve a G4, I want the PPC version. The Intel version is never going to be used, but I still have to waste bandwidth downloading it, then I have to waste disk space storing it. Bugger that!

Great, give simplicity to the great unwashed. But please, please, let those of us who know what they’re doing have a choice. Electrons are precious and should not be wasted! Give me a choice – don’t make me waste bandwidth and disk space on something I’m never ever going to use.

Grr.

Completely unrelatedly: RAW, RIP.

A pack of lies: the tale of the gay sheep

From The Next Hurrah, via Language Log:

In summary, the news article in the Times regarding attempts to cure sheep of faggery were… well, let’s be polite, and call them dramatic exaggerations with little to no basis in fact.

The second thing to notice is the way the reporters got nearly every fact wrong. Most glaring is the subhead of the article itself: “Experiments that claim to ‘cure’ homosexual rams.” Well, let’s see — is that what the experimenters claim? Halfway through the piece, they cite Roselli: “[The researchers] insist the work is not aimed at “curing” homosexuality.” But the article not only asserts that this is, in fact, their aim, but that they have achieved it: “By varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain, [the scientists] have had “considerable success” in altering the rams’ sexuality…” Let’s check that one out, shall we? First, let’s check the scientific literature. Here’s the abstract from that Endocrine paper: “Prenatal ATD exposure did not interfere with defeminization of adult sexual partner preferences, receptive behavior, or the LH surge mechanism.” And here’s Roselli, by email: “What is so frustrating is that articles like this pit the scientist against the activist and then pretend to present a “balanced” account. They also don’t understand the science and perpetrate a lot of misinformation and outright lies, like the line that we have had “considerable success” in altering rams’ sexuality – where did this come from? I never claimed this and never published anything to suggest it.”

*snip*

In fact, it is clear that the Times deliberately misrepresented the truth. They say, “The tests on gay sheep are the latest in a long line of experiments seeking to alter the sexuality of humans and animals” (never mind the researchers already made clear that is not their aim) and then they cite two other examples of research in the field: one is a study from 1991 (although the Times cites it as 2002) and the other is an East Berlin scientist from the 1960s. One wonders why the Times picked these two examples, and chose to skip over Catherine Dulac’s landmark 2002 Science paper in which she discovered that changing a single pheromone receptor caused male mice to make (gay) love instead of war; the detailed work in fruit flies showing that a single gene can make males or females gay; or other sexual behavior studies like the major one on prairie voles a few years back showing a particular hormone determines how faithful they are to their mates or the studies just coming out recently about how the stickleback fish picks a mate. These are not obscure studies — on the contrary, the genetics of behavior (and sexual behavior in particular) is one of the major frontiers of biology today, and these studies are all being conducted at the top institutes and published in the top-tier journals. Funny that the reporters didn’t mention them.

Wikipedia history is fun

I read Scoble badmouthing a coffee chain this morning.

My brother warns you not to do any business with a franchise who wants $30,000 up front. A search of Google brings you to Wikipedia, who tells you who has a similar business model to Java Jo’z, including a lot of the same employees.

By the time I got to the linked wikipedia article, the content Scoble referred to was gone. I started checking out the history of the article to see what happened. Most recently, there have been some minor changes.

It’s aroundthis edit that things start to get interesting, and I start to get an idea what Scoble was seeing. Tracking back, there seem to be a few paragraphs consistently added and removed..

Fun. Pointless, and I don’t really care, but it was fun.

Can anyone tell me what Scoble’s brother’s problem is? I just had a quick skim of the last few ports of his blog, and it sounds like the problem, in a nutshell, is that he was stupid enough to hand over money before he’d signed a contract, or possible without properly reading the contact. It’s hard to say though, as the quality of the writing is even worse than in Eragon…

I want one

Linux on an ethernet port. Roughly – it’s actually a very very tiny computer barely bigger than an RJ45 port.

Online identity fraud – never happens.

From Myspace Australia, via SMH, in an article about a celebrity (Justice Michael Kirby) who has just discovered that someone has created a fake myspace profile for him:

MySpace Australia said (Justice Kirby’s profile) could be the first confirmed instance of identity fraud on the site.

Right. Sure. First ever. Yep.

Memo to James: This is why I don't like jalapenos

From AptToConverse via KATG Forums:

I don’t know what prompted me to stick my finger in my clean ass and lick it. Perhaps, I was checking for an injury or something else — I really can not say for certain as to the reason — but my mouth started burning in flames from jalapenos. Yes, I had jalapeno pepper juice up my ass! I can’t believe how I discovered this — you know what I mean? — and I can not believe that I confirmed what I thought. I have jalapeno pepper ass and need immediate help!

I admit to him the situation. We bust out laughing because we can’t believe the twist of events. He was still in disbelief making claims of washing hands but he is a gentleman. He asked what could he do to help me and I told him that he is going to have to eat the jalapeno pepper juice out of my ass– and in a hurry! So, my legs fly up in the air and he is down there licking away — his mouth in flames — trying to rescue me from my situation! Periodic stops to drink more beer were needed and about another 15 minutes of licking, I started to find relief.

Update: Several people misread this article and thought I was relating my own story. When so many people misread, the fault is clearly with the communicator, not the communicatee. I’ve updated this so that the attribution should be clearer now.