Samsung Series 6 LED TV

For the unacquainted and perhaps normally uninterested, LED technology is the latest thing in TV. I would count myself normally in both categories. Thankfully it’s actually something quite special. Right now the Samsung is the latest thing out there. Don’t be wooed by the run out LCD Samsungs and sub $1000 plasmas, LED is the shizzle. Why? Well, firstly it’s super thin. Not just thin compared to traditional CRT screens, it makes cigarette papers feel fat. It also has a specially designed, albeit slightly more expensive than normal, slim bracket. With this dimmable led bulbs bracket the screen literally hangs from the wall like a painting. There’s literally about 3-4cm of width from the wall when mounted. That’s significantly thinner than plasma or LCD tellies. Picture quality wise, it’s a perfectly dark picture, full of contrast. Put the superseded Samsung LCD next to the LED and for my money there’s a big difference. And not just in the price, because they’re really running those LCD tellies out cheap at JB Hi Fi. Sadly not cheap enough. Because look at them side by side and you can’t kid yourself. There’s a noticeable difference in picture quality. The speakers are exceptionally good for what they are and how slim the TV is. One downside is though that it only has optical audio out, which doesn’t work with my stereo system of choice. Aside from 3 HDMIs and a USB, you only get one composite port and a high definition composite port. So this may mean upgrading your DVD player etc to the latest spec equipment. Feature wise, we contemplated getting the...

Beware of two robber chicks in blonde wigs

Was at a private party in the back room of a hotel in Fitzroy last week. Party was for a friend’s birthday and went it without a hitch. That is until the next day at very early o’clock when the owner of a credit card was called. In about 5 hours, someone had stolen her purse (without her realising) and racked up at least a grand on it at the casino – including the taxi fare from the party there. Appartently it was two girls wearing blonde wigs that crept in when the party was peaking and crept out with the wind. They were all cool looking but still inconspicuous. So I’m told, the two robber chicks were caught in the act at Crown Casino, probably in between purchases. They had a notorious history of credit card theft and one may have been on probation. Unfortunately a very sobering reminder never to let your guard down. And while Fitzroy bars aren’t the blood baths there were decades ago, every now and then the clientelle are still a little bit dodgy. Watch your back out there...

Acrassicauda finally get a gig

Well right now here in Melbourne, we’re having major bush fires. Some of the worst ever in fact. Frankly the response and generosity from the public is heart warming and overwhelming. The human suffering is unimaginable, but it’s even more saddening to think refugees suffer permanently. Usually from acts of war rather than god. Acrassicauda are a band of four Iraqis in their twenties who have suffered such a plight. They were Iraq’s main if not only heavy metal band to have endured right through the war. A war which sent them from Baghdad, to Damascus in Syria, to Istanbul in Turkey and finally safe refuge in the good old USA. That’s a rough six years. Their lives were documented in the movie Heavy Metal in Baghdad. Far from being just about metal music, this movie covered far more home truths about the madness and suffering of the Iraqi war than most docos of a political discourse. Moving from one place to another, they struggled to find a place where they could earn an honest living, let alone a venue for a gig. At one point they had to sell their instruments to pay the rent. Given that only a few thousand Iraqis have benefited from refugee status in the US since the war began, it’s pretty miraculous. You’d like to think it was perhaps the magic of Obama, but the arrangements must’ve started while Bush was still in office! Frankly it’s reassuring to see that people aren’t forgotten right now. Now the boys are in New Jersey. They can grow their hair as long as they want, listen...

Victoria Police are getting needy!

Tonight I was walking through the Jam Factory in Chapel St with some friends. We were approached by two women who said they were doing a quick one minute survey for the police. I kind of reluctantly obliged. Hold up, the police are doing a survey!? WTF? They asked ‘did you notice the extra police presence tonight?’ At first I thought ‘yeah sure’. Then it occurred to me, Chapel St is chock a block full of cops every Friday and Saturday and changed my answer. They setup a police truck and have cops by the dozen flanking it; usually next to the KFC near Commercial Road. Especially on a hot summers night. If anything, there were actually LESS COPS out tonight! But they did have police out on horseback for a change, which was unusual.Not to mention the roadworthy spot checks and booze buses they’ve been doing for years behind Chasers nightclub. The next question was something like ‘do you feel safer with the extra police around?’ My response was an resolute no! By this stage it was clear that the ladies were more than likely coppers themselves (decent looking and nice to talk to too!). Public opinion was taking its toll on them. For a start, they’d copped (no pun intended) a bunch of flack for the massive V8 police cars patrolling in 40 kph urban zones. And particularly the fact they’re always en route to somewhere or in police stations that basically resemble military barracks (most in the south eastern suburbs virtually are). Interestingly one of the ladies, cop or not, and I got talking about experiences...

What did you think of Top Gear Australia?

Overall the first episode (airing on SBS TW last night) was a really good start. Being Aussies, I think a lot of people are going to diss it. But before we cut down the tall poppies, take a step back and compare it to the very first episode of Top Gear Xtra, or what we now know as the Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson/Richard Hammond/James May, it went very smoothly indeed. Through liberal use of the existing format, the studio audience knew what to expect, laughed on queue and it was all pretty good. Before you mention it, yes I did send in an audition tape, so bag it all you like. That has no reflection on the comments I’m making here. Simply areas that could be improved because this genuinely has the potential to be a kick arse show. Perhaps the first show was a bit struck for time, particularly since they need to cram commercials into their 1 hour slot. Because they didn’t get time to explain their test track. In the original Top Gear, they explained the purpose of each corner, who designed it and how it was a real car killer. Especially since the Aussie test track looks like it’s extremely tight, it would’ve been good to know why they decided on that layout. When you saw the Porsche go round the test track, it looked almost idle through some of the corners! I’m at a loss to understand why they made some corners so tight if it’s no so compelling to watch. Also they didn’t really get stuck into the cars during the review....

Yet another email will scam

Well somehow this message got around Hotmail’s spam filter. Perhaps because every message was sent from a different email address! The first one was from an address at Missisipi University from a guy called Jakel Marshall. The picture (left) and accompanying link claim he’s a model, but he’s also a model rip off merchant IF it’s the same guy. Frankly I think it isn’t. But at least the Nigerian e-mail scammers are getting a bit more aspirational with their identities. So anyway the first email I get was as follows: ** Reply Requested by 9/6/2008 (Saturday) ** From: Jakel Marshall My Private email: jakel.marshall@live.com This is for your attention Through some discreet search from my local chambers of commerce and having obtained your contact from the internet. I contacted you because you bear the same surname identity. Presently in my bank here in the United Kingdom we have an estate,which has remained unclaimed since 1999. And the estate will be converted to UNCLAIMED DEPOSIT and therefore forfeited if nobody comes forward to lay claim to the deposit before the end of this financial quarter, as is the practice and also indicated in the European Union banking guidelines.I wish to notify you of a Deal between You and me to put in claims for payment with your name as the beneficiary to the total sum of US$5,500,000.00 (Five million, Five Hundred Thousand) in the intent of the deceased (name now withheld since this is our second letter to you)As I mentioned earlier, I contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can present you as the beneficiary to...