The Australian Election 2007 – Lest We Forget

In 2004 the ever wonderful Clarke and Dawes did a very special (and still topical) MasterMind on John Howard and his governments history ((Those outside Australia may need to look up what a “non-core promise” is.)) and why they got re-elected.

Now they’re back for the 2007 election, with a quick quiz on “The achievements of the Howard Government” (links to a transcript and video streams of the broadcast) which is well worth watching!

Google Toilet ISP (beta) (Updated)

Chalk up another great Google April Fool.. 🙂

Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.

Google Toilet ISP - Going with the Flow

Google – turning the fear that the Internet is a sewer into reality. 🙂

Update: Google have another, which is Google Paper. This one found via Wikipedia’s list of April Fools for 2007.

C, Safety and Sanity

On the Beowulf list the semi-mythical RGB wrote an interesting digression on getting started in parallel programming:

C is like an M-1 tank armed with pocket nukes and with a built in levitation system and antimatter propulsion system — misuse it and you can blow up whole worlds, but it can solve lots of problems very quickly. Safe is a kiddy bike with training wheels — not fast, not powerful, but if you pedal long enough you can get where you want to go.

Unless you get run over by a tank, that is.

Talking about parallel programming, André Pang has a nice blog post quoting Edward A. Lee’s essay “The Problem with Threads” which investigates the problems with concurrency and non-determinism in parallel programming. Edward Lee talks about non-determinism he gives a two analogies, the best of which is the one that André picked up on:

To offer a third analogy, a folk definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and to expect the results to be different. By this definition, we in fact require that programmers of multithreaded systems be insane. Were they sane, they could not understand their programs.

I’m glad I’m not a parallel programmer.. 🙂

A Legal Python Moment

Wonderful repartee courtesy of David Starkoff.

KIRBY J: By the way, is that the form of the State search warrant? I mean, does it still look like that? It is such a tacky little piece of paper. I mean, if somebody presented you with a piece of paper like that that looks for all the world like the roneoed law school notes that I used to receive 40 years ago, you would not take it seriously. It does not even have the State coat of arms on it.

It continues whimsically in that form, worth a read..

Consumer driven climate change

Our good friend Chris Borthwick has had himself a blog since 2004, helpfully entitled “A live toad every morning“, and catching up on which I came across this observation..

One effect of global warming is that the seasons are beginning earlier each year. As one sign of this, I saw a display of hot cross buns for sale in Coles on Wednesday, January 3rd – at least two weeks earlier than last year.

Dysfunctional Techno-habits

New Scientist has a nice little article called “Just can’t get e-nough” about habitual problems some people get from using the Internet.

The web in particular has opened up a host of opportunities for overindulgence. Take Wikipedia. Updating the entries – something anyone can do – has become almost a way of life for some. There are more than 2400 “Wikipedians”, p 36 – you know where to look it up if you don’t know what it means – who have edited more than 4000 pages each (“see Confessions of a Wikipediholic”, below). “It’s clearly like crack for some people,” says Dan Cosley at Cornell University in New York, who has studied how websites such as Wikipedia foster a community. To committed Wikipedians, he says, the site is more than a useful information resource; it’s the embodiment of an ideology of free information for all.

Favourite terms – crackberry and cheesepodder (( someone who goes hunting for those cheesy old numbers for their iPod )) . 🙂