Archive for September 2007

"New Media"/"Web 2.0": Which government understands?


The Australian Government Consultation Blog Discussion Paper is, as the name implies, an invitation to public discussion about the potential value for government and the community in having a government “consultation blog”, what such a blog might contain, how it would be managed and so on.

New Zealand

NZ Police were reviewing the old Policing Act, from 1958, which had become “anachronistic” and was “written for a completely different age, not policing of today”, Superintendent McCardle said.

But drafting new legislation “shouldn’t just be the sole reserve of politicians”, he said, so the wiki was created to invite input from members of the public.

So, gMail

So, gMail is free because some vast alien civilization pays Google’s costs for running it. The kickback? All your gmail is uploaded to the alien civilization to be used as a seed for a random number generator for their monthly lottery. – Zhasper

For those

For those nasty moments when you can’t remember which security colour is which – Zhasper 9/23/07 | 1 views | Shared by: Zhasper,

Best chalk

Best chalk street art ever. – Zhasper
Tags: chalk, street art 9/23/07 | Shared by: Zhasper,

The results

The results of Atlassian’s latest "Fedex Day".Reading about Mike Cannon-Brooke’s effort, I’m reminded again of my theory that the only reason he and Scott still work there is the amount of fun they get to have.. – Zhasper
Tags: atlassian 9/23/07 | Shared by: Zhasper,


Boston police go ga-ga and over-react to yet another <strike>bomb threat</strike>circuit board – Zhasper 9/23/07 | 11 views | Shared by: Zhasper,


So I’ve changed the way I do linkblogging. Instead of FeedBurner inserting blocks into the feed, I’m now using Google’s Shared Stuff for linkblogging.

If you’re reading my main feed, viola, you’ll be getting the linkblogging to, thanks to Drupal’s Leech module pulling things in.

If you just want the linkblog, you can grab it from

Along the way, I created some feedflare – you’ll see a “Share this!” item on each item in the feed – and each item in my main feed too, for that matter. This will take you straight to the Shared Stuff widget that lets you share the item yourself.

Yes, I just created a FeedBurner feedflare that lets you add feeds to Shared Stuff. I’m a company shill, what did you expect?

If you want the feedflare for yourself, it’s at

Note for the reader team: shared items in gReader need to go into Shared Stuff.

Note for Shared Stuff team: I want people who know my gmail address to be able to find my Shared Stuff easily. At the moment, the only way they can find it is if I tell them where it is.

[Update 24/09/2007 18:39]Urgh, that was ugly. I’ve removed the linkbloggy thing from the main site; if you want to see it, sign up to the linkblog feed seperately.

About Google Shared Stuff

Shared Stuff! – James 9/20/07 | 1993 views | Shared by: James,

It's not a free speech issue, it's inappropriate use of force

So I’ve figured out what wasn’t quite right in that last sentence. What bothers me about the tazing has nothing to do with free speech. As they say, “Freedom of the press does not mean freedom of *my* press”. If he’d co-operated, he’d have been removed from that venue – but that’s not the same as preventing free speech.

What bothers me is that, at the time he was apparently tased, he was on the ground, with two (three?) police officers on top of him.

If he was violent, threatening police, attempting to escape – I can understand why a taser would be considered in those circumstances. Given the circumstances under which he was tased though, I don’t think it was justified.

Hrm. It’s scary how easy it is to find videos of inappropriate taserings, even when you’re barely looking.

“Stand up or you’ll get tased again”. *sigh*

So what’s my point? None, really, just clarifying what disturbed me. It’s nothing to do with free speech, and everything to do with abuse of power by poorly trained and/or power-hungry thugs in uniform.

Not that I’m saying that all police are thugs in uniforms, just the ones who tase people who aren’t a threat to them.

Student tasered for asking questions


Good thing he lives in a country where free speech is protected in the constitution.

Hang on, something about that last sentence wasn’t quite right… but I can’t figure out what.