Cheeseburger Gothic

Quickflix embarrasses itself

Posted 4 hours ago by John Birmingham

I've been meaning to write something about the open letter from Quickflix to Netflix, whining about the hundreds of thousands of Aussies so underwhelmed by QF's woeful product that they go to the considerable trouble of tunneling under the geoblock to get Netflix.

But my brother beat me to it at his site.

Quickflix apparently wants rules that force consumers to buy its products — or at least limit choice to increase its chances — rather than relying on the immutable laws of market competition to sort wheat from chaff. The fact that 200,000 consumers would rather go to the trouble of breaking through Netflix’s geoblocking firewall than buy the Quickflix service tells you everything you need to know about the relative merits of those two services in the minds of Netflix’s Australian customers.

...

Quickflix has made a mistaken assumption common to many companies: it has forgotten that regulation is not there to protect them from competition, it is there to protect us — consumers — from them.

1 Responses to ‘Quickflix embarrasses itself’

Sian puts forth...

Posted 3 hours ago
Quickflix is a truly terrible service. Terrible. I signed up to get access to the Veronica Mars movie the day it came out wanting to be a good girl and pay for my product, sad fangirl that I am, and it was surprising how bad it was. Bad quality, clunky, non-user friendly interface, just shit really. Full price too. Paid about the same for the blu-ray version from JB when it came out. Learnt my lesson there...

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A five grand fine for kids' parties in the park

Posted 4 hours ago into Blunty by John Birmingham

Nice one Quirky.

At the Instrument.

5 Responses to ‘A five grand fine for kids' parties in the park’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted 3 hours ago
Oh, that is so fucked up for more reasons than I can articulate.

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Jon puts forth...

Posted 2 hours ago
This makes me want to stab someone. Sometimes I hate this fucking nanny state lamb hating, kransky bashing fucking police state we live in. Due to a lack of any bill of rights i'm sure the greeks will just keep cooking anyway. If I get a chance ill drive up there and join the chorus of " Fuck you Copper!"
Long time lurker, first rant.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted 2 hours ago
Nice way to de-lurk, Jono.

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Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted 2 hours ago
To paraphrase, It's all about ROOLS. Some people hate them (anarchist bastards), some love them (fascist bastards) and most of us will tolerate a few for a quiet life (lazy bastards). Sadly, if you live in Brisbane, you've got rule lovers at local, state and federal level. It fascinates me that Conservatives here and in the US are always boasting about cutting red tape and reducing regulation, while in reality they are gagging to regulate every aspect of our lives. Unchecked we'd be back to sumptuary laws governing what we can wear and eat (eg voucher systems). Terrorism scares enable control over movement and communication and excuse total violation of privacy. False alarms re voter fraud excuse new rules to disenfranchise the poor. They want to know what we say, think and buy and regulate us to the "everything that is not compulsory is forbidden" level - as do many religious cults.

The only red tape that gets cut is the kind that protects basic rights, employment conditions, health or aged care.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted 1 hour ago
Close, but not quite. They don't enjoy regulation. They hate it. But they hate something more than regulation - i.e., They really, really hate people enjoying themselves in any way. They hate good food, enjoyable sex, public displays of affection and laughter that isn't derisive.

"If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me and it will be prohibited.
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be -
This is the Land of the Free..."

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The Stand

Posted Sunday into Books by John Birmingham

Stephen King's The Stand was the first book I ever bought with my own money. This end of the world opus remains one of my favorites, and one of the few books (along with Michael Herr's Despatches) that I've read multiple times. The collapse of civilization brought about by the superflu is superbly detailed at both the personal and global level. It could stand on its own (see what I did there?) as a novel, but of course da King takes it so much further by introducing Randall Flagg and his second Armageddon.

I dived back into it again this week, but with two changes. I'm listening to the audiobook, and the edition is the 1990 re-release that returned about 400 pages to the text. Since the original 'shorter' version was already over a thousand pages long, this edition is a monster.

Thomas and I are listening to the audio book in the car. We've been doing audiobooks this way for about a year or so, given the enormous amount of driving I have to do with him. Some of those cricket and rugby fields are a LONG way away. We'd just finished Justin Cronin's The Twelve (which got a bit strange in the last few chapters) and I was curious to see how he'd react to a book I had enjoyed so much at about his age.

The narration by Grover Gardner is top-notch, but one thing I hadn't thought of was how much of the story had dated. It's not just the absence of mobile phones and the Internet, for instance. There are characters whose whole lives are simply inexplicable in modern terms. Or if not inexplicable, at least anachronistic.

The rock musician, Larry Underwood, one of my favourite characters, appears in his opening chapters dealing with the blowback from overnight success, which naturally took seven or eight years to eventuate. There are a couple of pages, or in the audiobook a couple of minutes worth of storytelling, detailing Larry's struggles as a musician. Musicians have always struggled to make a living, of course, but it struck me listening to this section of the book how much things have changed because of digital distribution. The struggles are different now. I don't know that Thomas even noticed, but for me the discussion of 'pressing vinyl', cutting an album, Billboard top 40 charts, powerful record company executives etc marked this section of the book as an historical curiosity. So too with the description of New York, which was originally written well before the city's renaissance. The New York of The Stand is the dark, dangerous metropolis of the 1970s, not the zero tolerance wonderland of today.

Still, none of this detracts from my enjoyment of revisiting the story. In some ways, it adds to it. It's like time travel. And Thomas is loving it. I've always been a fan of King's work, but I forget sometimes just how good a writer he is. The last couple of years have seen the academic and literary establishment beginning to recognise and acknowledge his achievement. The publication of his alternative history of the Kennedy assassination, which I always think of as simply '63', seems to have marked the point at which the literary establishment threw up their hands and said, "Come 'ere, you big lug, lets just hug it out."

Some of the earlier chapters where the most important characters are introduced are a masterclass in writing about the banalities of everyday life without boring your readers. Even Thomas was taken aback at how interesting King made the breakup of Frannie Goldsmith and her hapless college boyfriend, the would-be poet Jess. There are no dark and fantastic elements to that chapter, just a really keen eye for the way that human beings treat each other.

The dark and fantastic elements are coming, of course. And I'm very much looking forward to reading them, or hearing them, over the next couple of months.

Dead tree:

And audio:

37 Responses to ‘The Stand’

Spanner mutters...

Posted Sunday
Earlier in the year MrsS and I sat down to watch the stand. I'd forgotten how good an ensemble cast it had.

Unfortunately someone though it a good idea to convert the 4:3 to widescreen making everyone look fat. Who wants to see a distorted and fat Molly Ringwald? I found it that good a story that it didn't take long to forget about the distorted screen and get lost in the story.

Greybeard asserts...

Posted Sunday
It is better to adjust a single aspect ratio than to curse the wideness. (RTFM)

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
Re The Twelve, I'm pretty sure the last few chapters relate to the first book in the trilogy, The Passage, tying up some bits and pieces, taking you back so there can be movement forward in the third book.

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pi mutters...

Posted Sunday
He has so many good books, and I've read the stand three times. I also thought the mini-series was pretty well realised, which was a bit of a surprise for me.

But where King really shines for me, is in his short stories. The Running Man, the Long Walk, The Raft, Survivor Type, The Mist, The Body, An Apt Pupil... the fact that I can rattle them off when I probably haven't read any of them for 15 years gives some indication of how they affected me.

Don't get me wrong, some of his big books I've truly loved (Salems Lot, The Tommyknockers, The Stand, Thinner, and of course, The Shining) but his short stories have actually given me nightmares (I'm lookin at YOU the Raft)

NBlob reckons...

Posted Sunday
4.14
(Pi +1)

Trowzers swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday
I love the short stories too - the one that gave me nightmares was The Sun Dog, followed only by that awful cymbal-clapping monkey. Funny how he can make almost any household object into a menacing entity with murderous intent.

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Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Sunday
Yes JB.
Stephen King has a gift.
Last book I read, of his, was The Tommy Knockers in 1992.
It has stayed with me.
First one was Salem's Lot 1981(?)
Stayed with me too.
I haven't read The Stand but watched the mini series a few weeks ago.
I remember when it came out and watching it then.
"The rain in Maine falls mainly on the plane..."

BWS has opinions thus...

Posted Sunday
I've only ever read Cujo and The Shining of King's books. Read Cujo in one sitting, when I was about 15. Finished it at about 2.30 am, and spent the rest of the night sitting up in bed clutching my cricket bat, convinced an enormous, crazed dog was going to try and kill me at any time. Scared motherfucking shitless, I was.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Sunday
Hey BWS,
Just read the wikipedia version of Cujo.
The whole notion of right and wrong is worthy of sleepless nights.
Does the abstract exist?
Stephen King seems able to tap into this question and make clear that it does.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted Sunday
And Pet Cemetery.
Remember that?

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Big Willie Style mutters...

Posted Sunday
Hey JB, I was spring cleaning today - came across all my old Rolling Stone magazines. Flicking thru the July 1989 edition - "University of Queensland student John Birmingham" got a mention, for an article you wrote called "Kuta Kapers". If I was the type who took photos of stuff and posted them on websites, I'd probably do exactly that. But I'm not, so you'll just have to believe me.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Sunday
I remember it well. That story helped get that guy released.

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Nez mutters...

Posted Sunday
Have read pretty much everything King has put out bar The Dark Tower series, for some reason I've found that a struggle to get through and am still only half way through it.

The Stand remains his masterwork for me. It's still my go to novel if I want to revisit his work and I'd guess I've read it at least a dozen times. It always welcomes me back like an old friend and it almost feels like we're enjoying each other's company while I'm revisiting it.

I still think of Stu Redman as a mate and still have a crush on Frannie (which is kind of awkward for the three of us when you think about it). I also like to think that Tom Cullen was George RR Martin's inspiration for Hodor, taken to the extreme. "M-O-O-N, that spells moon."

That walk through the Lincoln Tunnel in pitch black scares the shit out of me every time though.

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
Nez,
Now I will have to read 'The Stand'.
I blame you.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted Sunday
You identified with Larry.
I can still hear the bullies chanting about Ol' Lady Semple's cheque and the dancing cleansing luciferous beauty that so entrances Trashy.
Says something I think.

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Trowzers mumbles...

Posted Sunday
I re-read The Stand a few weeks back to get in before the Incomparable podcast. I've read the book many times - it became a rule to read it whenever I was stuck home with a terrible flu. Reading when sick began as a sort of joke (and the podcast made me glad to hear I'm not the only who who does this), but it's the kind of book that holds out over multiple re-reads and it's nice to have the time to read big chunks of it.
However, this time I broke my rule and read it while I was feeling fine. Bad idea. Within in a week I fell ill with the worst flu I've had in about 10 years - I'm still clogged up two weeks later! So I think my copy has become some sort of incubator. A few more re-reads and who knows, maybe I'll spark off the events of the book.

I have too many thoughts about this book to sum up very well, but there are a few in my Goodreads review - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1022331806?book_show_action=false

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted Sunday
OMG! There's an Incomparable ep???

Trowzers ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
Yeah! With the timing, I thought that was why you were listening to it! They published it just a few weeks ago.

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Trowzers ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
Here it is, for those who don't already subscribe - http://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/210/index.php

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted Yesterday
Listening now. It's great.

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BK has opinions thus...

Posted Sunday
POTENTIAL SPOILERS

I feel the same about The Stand (although the first book I saved up for bought myself was IT).

However I remember that even when the revised edition came out the story seemed dated and out of time. King changed all the dates in the revision so that it was relatively contemporaneous but not all the references worked when set ten years later.

I love the revised edition for all the extra story (the catholic father of the big family still haunts me) but if you want to give someone the best experience, let them read the edited original. Tighter, set in the right time, and with a superior ending.

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday
It took being stranded with my unit in the desert for five months during Operation Desert Storm to get me to pick up The Stand. After we had run through all of the other books and watched The Road Warrior for the 1000th time on our way overdue Blockbuster VHS.

I enjoyed the novel but I do not think I would have stuck with it if I hadn't been stranded in the desert.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted Yesterday

For me The Stand whenever mentioned will call to mind the song "(Don't fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult, the tune is planing through my head right now. this is becuase of the openning for the 1994 miniseries with Gary Sinise playing Stu Redman.

Spoilers

The opening sequence where you see the infected staff and the guard hightailing out of the facility like the deamons of hell were chasing him all the while B.O.C's ode to suicide playing through the scene has stuck with me , as strongly as King's imagination.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
now I have Moar Cowbell earworm.

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Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday


Interesting. I'm sure I read some King as a relative youngster (Christine, Pet Cemetary and so on), but Librarything tells me the only volume I still have is The Dead Zone.

I haven't yet read The Stand, but at just under $5 from the beast of Bezos right now, it's now queued up on my kindle.

pi reckons...

Posted Yesterday
How could I forget the dead zone?!?! One of his best.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted Yesterday

I love the Bachman books. Especially the long walk, creepy to the core. I might go and buy the Stand in my lunch break, nearly finished the Leftovers but still have Leviathan to re read. But what I really want to know from you JB is: what do you think of Apple foisting off U2 on unsuspecting itunes users? Seriously I feel like I've been assimilated by a mediocre christian youth group borg style. Resistance was futile , but I was prepared. I deleted it, but itunes said I could only hide it. It asked me if I wanted to hide U2, no I wanted it deleted lest it infect my entire network. Alas Itunes said no.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Yesterday
I think it was a blunder. It would have been more expensive but infinitely more valuable to just give away a free album of everyone's choice.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted 24 hours ago
I honestly can't remember whether I encountered any of Stephen King in book form before seeing the movie or mini-series. I did marathon-watch The Stand around the time it came out on VHS along with my then-girlfriend who was a fan but never did get around to reading it. Definitely read Misery though.

Along similar lines, I'm pretty sure I remember reading The Exorcist as a teenager, though just the trailers for the movie freaked the heck out of me when I was kid. I think I avoided King for the same reason and just didn't see the point in horror.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted 24 hours ago

I would have appreciated that definately. So much to buy... google might do that Their range is really good. I could go bankrupt with their catalog and their wonderful prompts that show me google really do know what I like.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted 22 hours ago

Loved 'The Stand' and like Barnes will always associate BOC with it. Although in hindsight most BOC tracks are reminiscent of dark goings on in New England and elsewhere.

But 'salems lot' stands out as being my favourite King novel read it at 15 before my o levels and it scared me to the bone.

Time to revisit me thinks

pi would have you know...

Posted 21 hours ago
Yeah... as I put in my faves up the top, Salems Lot was the first long-form book in my list. Brilliant book.

Another one that I absolutely loved... Firestarter.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted 20 hours ago
And to prove my sincerity have just bought in on kindle, just don't tell the wife....

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted 17 hours ago
Read that 'The Stand' was Stephen King's attempt at an American 'Lord of the Rings'.
I haven't read the stand but read LOTR in 1976.
I will read The Stand but at this point in time I believe it is an extension of 'Catch-22'.
Milo Minderbinder is Sheldon.
Joe Heller wrote about him too.
Can't mention his Surname.
Sheldon from Las Vegas etc...

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Thrud the barbarian would have you know...

Posted 15 hours ago

Always loved the Stand because it wasn't one of King's stories that ended like a bit of a wet squib. IT drove me crazy- built to this utterly amazing ending that... just... sorta farted and died. The Stand, tho'- I love that he just got in there and, yep- there IS a God, and he moves in mysterious ways. VERY quantum physics- it's the lads' act of observation of the events in Vegas that gives meaning to the whole apocalypse- without the observation, there would be no victory.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted 4 hours ago
You and me, Thruddy. We seem to be the only ones who dug that finale.

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The Launch

Posted Tuesday into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I wont be getting up at 2.45am for the Apple launch, even though the little boy in me would love to. The grown man with deadlines says, no, get your sleep. But I have carved out a couple of hours tomorrow morning to watch the presentation and geek out like crazy.

I’m not going to add to the speculation about what they’ll announce. The gadget blogs have ruined a lot of the fun with all of the component leaks, which is a reason I try to avoid them.

(Incidentally, if you’re wondering about the economics of leaky online churnalism, and I know you are, the prices being paid for these component shots far exceed the ad revenue they generate. So who’s paying? Best speculation I’ve heard is phone case manufacturers. If they can be in the market on day one with 50 000 cases, it’s worth paying someone in China real money to steal a shell).

Rather than trying to guess what Apple will do tomorrow, I find it more intriguing to imagine where whatever they’ll announce might lead twenty years down the track. I see computing embedded in us, organically embedded in us, and us embedded in a world of data. I see our DNA as our passcode to open an email, withdraw money from the bank, or login in here at the Burger.

I imagine a Jetsons home which knows when we’re approaching and has the dinner ready, probably in some refrigerator-souvide cooker (they already exist). I see phones as a small, insanely dense block of technology that somehow ties all of this together. I see class divisions in the tech we use, with the great mass of people opting for ‘free’ tech and services via Google’s (or whichever company succeeds them) ad-supported business, while maybe a billion or so wealthy individuals pay a premium to Apple (or whichever company succeeds them) to avoid all that shit.

I see something like Google Glass, but not Google Glass, feeding us whatever data we think we need on our eyeballs – and depending on who’s paying for the service, ads to go with it.

I see workable real time language translators in super small ear implants. I see ubiquitous telepresence and tracking.

And I see massive business opportunities in disconnecting us from the always on cloud.

But apart from two phones and some sort of wearable thingy, or bunch of thingies, I have no idea what’s coming tomorrow to get all this rolling with greater speed.

57 Responses to ‘The Launch’

Justin asserts...

Posted Tuesday
iWhat??????? yaaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnn

but the future tech is interesting. Sign me up for a full serve of 'disconnect' please :)

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Censoring that would be like censoring William Burroughs junior. Your dreamt future world can get fucked. I can't think of anything worse than a future world with a bunch of pissed, angry, racist, latent homosexual, misogynists plugged into an omnipresent ether screaming information and instructions at me.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted Tuesday
Dino, you mean?

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Spent 10 dollars on wine JB.
Journalists have nothing to worry about.
Julian, Edward, Glen etc.
All the rest?
Move to Bolivia.
Moneys good.
If 9/11 can happen in New York, and Michael Hastings can die then my suggestion is get a job withe New Idea.
Less Dangerous.
Or you can write about nipple slips or the new Royal baby.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
This is almost poetry, Dino. But a thousand miles off topic.

Halwes mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
I do think that nipple slips are a worthwhile topic though.

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Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

The future world will be OK then if it's always going to be that easy. I suspect it wont be though.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
I predict quantum computing within 20 years, Very small, very fast, enormous memory capacity. Beautiful and frightening probable consequences.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
Comrade Paul, 5years not so much 20.
FwBiL in SD spoke of breakthroughs in QC that were imminent, impressive, robust & likely quickly cheap like we've never seen.
the example he cited was instead of a power network being controlled by a Master Control Room by earnest men in cheap ties, every device, every house, most poles and certainly every substation would be the Smart in the Grid. Ditto traffic.
Not so much in the memory density, he suggested we are on the "lip of a plateau" of memory capacity development, it would continue to improve, just not at the logarithmic rate it had been in the last decade.
But the connectedness thing will continue in new & interesting directions. LiFi being just one example. This radio frequency thing is just like so Marconi.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Friday
"Comrade Paul, 5years not so much 20."

1. Comrade? Are you implying that I am a Godless Communist?

2. I said "within 20 years" did I not?

"This radio frequency thing is just like so Marconi."

Actually, it is so Tesla.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted Wednesday

is it true the new iphone 6 goes through your contacts list and emails all those using iphone 5 and asks them if their lives a devoid of sense and meaning?

Lulu mutters...

Posted Wednesday
As a Samsung S2 user, would it even notice my existence?

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
As a Samsung S2 user the iPhone 6 will add your name to the list of first against the wall when our masters announce the takeover.

It's nothing personal, just business.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Off topic, except it is on matters digital...

There is a computer game called Depression Quest. I thought it was a joke at first, but it isn't. On a separate note, there is some horrible crap going on in the gaming community over the last few months. A couple of women, who have some prominence in gaming, have been subject to vicious hate attacks because they have the unbelievable gall to be women. It's being dubbed Gamergate (sigh).

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
Mmmm, once again the last bit of my post got chopped off...
There is a good short article from today on the New Yorker site about the game and some of the crap the female game designer has copped. It also has some decent stuff about depression.

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Of course, the same pre-pubescent boys are just as bad as that to other boys that they have a needle-boner for.

It's bad, and totally un-called for, but this might just as easily have been a guy, and while the insults would have been different, the effect would have been the same, except you wouldn't be hearing about it, because it would be a guy and not a gal.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday

" except you wouldn't be hearing about it, because it would be a guy and not a gal" which while strickly true is not a helpful stance since the comparison of how much women are harrassed on line isn't comprable to the harrassment of men on line. Time has a piece on this which is timely. This highlights why when both may be insulted, it is the sheer volume and degree of virtriol that is unleased when it is a woman that is the target it indiciatve of the problem in the industry.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
"might just as easily have been a guy"

Don't think this is anywhere near true

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted Thursday
Sexism exists.
I believe there is a 'nerd' sexism as well, though I like to believe nerds are less sexist.
The online thing is 'new' territory.
Someone has infected my computer.
I think smart girls are cool.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted Friday
Other than the spouses of my antipodean mates, and my own, I believe there are no smart girls.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted Friday
Hey Paul,
I read yesterday that 50% or more of the USA is single.
I guess since You and your Wife got hitched there is no one left worth marrying in the USA.

Anthony puts forth...

Posted Friday

OK, that's a rather good intelligent comment...


What have you done with the real Dino?

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
Fuck Anthony!
I have three or four 'Good Behaviour' Bonds.
One 6 month mother will land me in gaol.
Fuck Yeah.
Hence Dino will drink less alcohol, 'terrorize' the Poolice less and post more coherent comments, hopefully to entertain and make Burgers feel good.
That is my aim your Honour....

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
This is a favourite concept of mine. Everything in the "unnatural world" had to be imagined first. There is nothing constructed that we see around us that hasn't been imagined by someone or some computer brain. It is starting to appear to me that even the most outrageously, inconceivable concept can be realised. If this is the case with constructed objects then are thoughts and ideas themselves also the product of this other brain function which is the imagination? Are we imagining rather than thinking and reasoning ourselves into certain courses of action or creeds not just in our everyday lives but continually as a species? The IT comment of "rubbish in gets rubbish out" comes to mind. But I question whether this evolutionary thinking doesn't operate at a deeper level than that. Should computer brains have the capacity for imagination or would we be asking for trouble? Now it gets scary. If the "unnatural " world had to be imagined then why not what we consider to be the "natural" world.? Brains on earth are of varying capacity and complexity but many organisms have one. They range from ants to Einstein. Brains are an electro - chemical reaction. Brains have synapses and circuitry that are always firing and receiving complex signals. Our earth itself seems to also have some kind of interconnected self regulatory system. The entire universe follows this electro - chemical brain pattern of firing quasars, chemical reactions and receptors so what if the universe is a very large, complex brain and we are a mere thought bubble of a giant electro chemical reaction? One thing is for sure is that, if reality is only limited by imagination then there is some very weird, exciting, terrifying stuff out there. Sometimes I wish people could stop imagining for a while and let us old blokes catch up a bit especially when it comes to phones and DVD players!

pi asserts...

Posted Wednesday
No-one uses DVD players anymore dude.

Halwes mumbles...

Posted Wednesday

That would be right. Just when I've almost learnt how to use one. The same thing happened with VHS.

insomniac mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Just to go full circle on you; a lot of the unnatural world has been borrowed from the natural world. Mother Nature has had millions of years of evolution to perfect some things. Probably not DVD players though.

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday
I'm haven't decided yet whether to go with VHS or Beta.

Greybeard asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Oh shit. What about Blu-ray? That's still OK right? See, I read that by next year there'll be 4K blu-ray discs to go with our pointlessly expensive 4K screens which currently have zero content. Except that we'll also need new 4K players which is kind of sad because then we'll find out that our super-expensive 4K TVs won't work with the new players because they aren't HDCP 2.2 compatible. Man, it's like there was some terrible plot to keep us buying new equipment over and over again. I'm gonna move to Apple. They wouldn't do that to us, would they?

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Simon mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Did Steve Jobs actually get cancer or was a time traveler sent back in time only to fail at stopping the imonster? Oh jeesus a shiver just went down my spine - did i just channel Dino? : )

Cyberpunk here we come!

I think 20 years is too short a time frame. It will be a race towards what is going to happen to this planet and what tech we have. If we are too focused on survival this stuff is going to become superfluous. The tech may end up being pointed out towards trying to save a modicum of civilisation rather than making sure the auto dog washer does a good job of cleaning poochy. Either way I think the "haves" vs "the have-nots" is going to feature very heavily.

On saying that though - dystopian futures always seem to be what we imagine but the reality is most likely to be one that features the colour brown. A lot. Middle of the road will be the new black. Beigeageddon i am going to call it.


pi ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
> Beigeageddon

That's a great word.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Thursday
Simon,
Get some help.
Even thinking about channeling my sorry arse is worthy of DSM IV; chapter entitled- "Best medical practice has no fkn cure!"
Today I had an accident with an oversized pallet. My bad. Probably $400.00 out of my pocket.
Yesterday I went to court. $750.00 and the fear of Judicial Authority remains-
This song says it all-
Except I am not dancing.
Having Powerful AI is of little use sometimes...
I am living in Beigeaggedon!
Help!

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Therbs mutters...

Posted Wednesday

It isn't the implants themselves which worry me, ts the farnarkelling with my neurons which may ensue. If anything's gonna screw with my brain cells its gonna be wine, whisky and beer.

Jetsons kitchen ftw!

Halwes puts forth...

Posted Wednesday

And if they can farnarkel then they surely will. It will all be explained in the terms and conditions which we'll all agree to.

Simon would have you know...

Posted Wednesday
Any original ideas will be the sole property of AppleColesworthCorp or whichever conglom software you uploaded to your head.

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
Imagine your computer when your anti-virus isn't quite up to date. Or all the pop-up ads on some web-pages.

Now imagine an advertisement for off brand viagra smack in the middle of your field of vision.

And you can't turn it off.

Better hope your headwall is a good one, and up to date.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted Thursday

I thought it was good that the new phone was a bit thinner and bigger. So it reminded me of my cheaper HTC desire I bought. For the record. HTC has a really good music player, and long long battery life. This is because its a big battery and the apps shut down when the screen is dropped to the background. I think thats kinda neat. But seriously what I got excited about in the world of computing yesterday was that the update to Battlefield 4 was announced. The game is finally working really well, and now I'm glad I stupidly by mistake bought the premium package. Anyways the new patch will update the maps to involve new tech, playing the prototypes found in the future war version of Battelfield 2142. Hover tanks, rail guns, lasers and all sorts of other tomfoolery. My glowing red six core chip PC (bought for $700 dollars on ebay) is chirping with anticipation like r2d2 when he got charged up on Dagobah.

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pi puts forth...

Posted Thursday
All kidding aside, there is one thing here that could be truly revolutionary. The watch.

One of the biggest issues with using your phone for paying for things is that it is inherently insecure. You lose your phone, lose your password, someone cracks you phone, all the other bad things that can happen, and someone starts using your digital folding stuff.

Ah... but the watch... that could change that. Tap the phone, confirmation gets sent to the watch. OK to pay? Press the check mark (with the included finger-print scanner), and away you go. Two-factor authentication in every apple persons hand. Secure, fast, no passwords.

That's the big thing that I saw in this launch.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
I was thinking earlier about the use of the iWatch while driving. It's bad enough with people on their phones in the car, but how about having the watch on your wrist, easily seen at the 10 o'clock position on the steering wheel, just off center to where you should be looking?

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
JB,
You are not going to believe me but I designed 'Smart Phones' and Apps back in 1996.
Yep.
Completely off topic but do you think Dreamworks plagairised this image for the little boy casting a fishing line and cork float-

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Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday

Australia on high terrorist alert.! That should be good for a poll bounce.

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
I'm glad I don't watch news. I'm, therefore, the one that doesn't feel terrorized.

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Or to borrow Adam Hills's phrase (Last Leg, a few weeks ago): Australia's alert level has been raised from Crikey to Strewth.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted Sunday
We call breathe a bit easier now that the alert level has been reduced to Dinkum.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Sunday
I just realized that I speak more Stralian than I do Yiddish.

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday
Good.
"Gungadin da house an cook me my fkn dinner!"

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted Sunday
But you won't Paul.
You won't cook me my dinner.
I know you won't.
I have reduced my meat intake but honestly, after changing the oil and filter on my ute tonight i would like...
Veal Scallopini, milk fed(apologies to Veges etc) pink when I cut the flesh, sauted briefly in reduced onions, garlic, greenpeppercorns and cream.
Pink remember!
fancy cut carrots with tarregon and caramalised potatos with rosemary.
But you won't P{aul.
You won't go and get in the house and cook me my dinner.
You never have and You probably never will...
I can accept it, although I am very hungary tonight after servicing my vehhhical...

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted Sunday
Tonight, for your dining pleasure...
A tin of organic Italian chickpeas, washed three times to reduce sodium.
Tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and finely chopped garlic. Flat leaf Parsley from the garden will add some colour.
Presented in a clean stainless steel bowl with salt and pepper and locally produced bread from two days ago.
Enjoy...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Sunday
Okay, so I am a little stoned and a little pisssed and really should know better than to risk feeding the beast, but, Dino, that cracked me up. And that ain't easy to do.

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Sunday
delicious

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted Sunday

"Delicious"??

Don't harsh my mellow, dude.

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Sunday
Nah the chickpeas with stale bread...
Delicious Man!
I am going to open a restaraunt.
Sonn as I learn how to spelll...

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
I forgot about the G20. That explains all the cops at Cairns airport. I love living in the bush.

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Vovchara asserts...

Posted Friday
still waiting for flexipads, Samsung G7 or 8? What dou guys think?

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Vovchara has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
still waiting for flexipads, Samsung G7 or 8? What dou guys think?

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Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Friday
Vovchara,
Using the physics of 9/11 and the University of Sydney(look up their analysis) it is quite likely that if someone smokes an e cigarete or rides a petrol driven bicycle within 15 kilometers of a 47 storey building it will collapse.
I offer the following 'terror' alert.
Taller or 'shorter' buildings will collapse and kill innocent people cause IS has the capability to defy Science.
AL Queda(Our friends now) and Osama can defy Science...

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Respond to 'The Launch'

Red Shirt Diary

Posted Tuesday into Lunch Time Video by John Birmingham

Very amusing. via Murph.

3 Responses to ‘Red Shirt Diary’

Andy Dent is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday
Thanks JB! Ep 2 even better!

Maybe I wasn't paying attention but when did A Protocol for Monsters get renamed Emergence? Loved the original title and the new one clashes with David R Palmer's great.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2300.Emergence

BTW hope you get paid a cut now for Amazon pre-orders

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
No Way JB!
No F'n Way!
'Emergence' is a 70's theory to do with complex systems!
My advice to your 'marketing' team at the Publishers is to call the Series' 'Shockalate`'.
It will get some French readers to boot!

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Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted Wednesday
She reminds me of some people I served with in Korea.

Not in a favorable way.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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"Call Mister Morrison to the stand..."

Posted September 9 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The Queensland Coroner will investigate the death of an asylum seeker.

At Blunty.

8 Responses to ‘"Call Mister Morrison to the stand..."’

Big Willie Style ducks in to say...

Posted September 9

In February 2008, newly elected MP Scott Morrison made his maiden speech in Parliament, in which he stated his admiration for Desmond Tutu and William Wilberforce. He also made a passionate declaration that Australia should provide more aid to Africa.

As time went by, and his party lurched further to the right under the leadership of Toned Abs, the Morrison of February 2008 morphed into the snarling, arrogant, inhumane ideologue we know and love today. JB, I very much doubt Morrison is about to receive a lesson in humility. If called before the Coroner, he will deny, obfuscate, blame the ALP, obfuscate some more, possibly make reference to Team Australia, get shouty, deny again, fail to recall certain conversations, then receive tummy rubs from Alan Jones and the Murdochracy.

These people are beyond redemption.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted September 9
Sigh. Yeah. I know. But you gotta give people some hope.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday
Morrison was a year or two ahead of me at high school, so around 5 years after Bedes. Have speculated with others on the merits of luring with a faux reunion, getting him blind drunk and leaving him naked in Martin Place with a roll of $100 notes in his arse. But frankly that sort of thing is bollocks when proper legal sanctions are available as may be the case if the coroner is allowed to go further without political interference. Not a thing to be especially hopeful about with the present state govt either I suppose.

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Surtac mutters...

Posted September 9


What Big Willie said.

These sleazebags will find a way to slither out from under any form of accepting responsibility or accountability for their actions or inactions.

And in other news a connection from Credlin to ICAC. Well, there's a surprise. Not.

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted Tuesday
I love the derpy people who say that someone cuts their own foot, it's their own problem. Bah. So what that they were in custody and therefore are reliant on someone else providing medical attention. Damn I get depressed at how the world must be black and white because Derpy McDerp says it must be.

Big Willie Style asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Just been reading the communtz over at Blunty. Plenty of Derpy McDerps with something to say, and quite a few Fuckwit McDipshits as well. Basically, "Hey, Ruddgillard personally drowned 1,000 people at sea, so this death doesn't even count and anyway the guy was here illegally and I'm an insular redneck who's never left my own suburb let alone the country" seems to cover 98% of the thoughts being expressed. Only with bad grammar and lamentable punctuation thrown in. Fuck! When did this country become so bloody nasty?

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Lulu asserts...

Posted Tuesday
Cannot stand the man.

Unfortunately it's his name (I think?) at the bottom of my citizenship certificate. If I didn't actually need the document, I would 'accidentally' singe that part of it on the gas stove.

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday
That is a most excellent reason for me not taking out my citizenship in the near term.

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