The internet’s Pearl Harbour. The iPatriot act is coming

Thank you Alternative Tentacles (who may well be Jello Biafra incarnate. Who knows!) for publishing this on Facebook. I hope this will never happen but this is a lecture from July 28 entitled ‘The Future of the Internet‘ and is quite dire. Here’s a shorter excerpt on Youtube. Terror is coming online! Quickly followed by the iPatriot Act. Basically they’re talking about a terrorist like event online. Such an event would be used as a catalyst to introduce legislation that would greatly reduce our freedoms and functionality online. Not that’s it’s without precedent. Call me far out, but without Pearl Harbor, the US would never have entered WWII; without 9/11, there’d be no Patriot Act I or II. Yes sir, there’s speculation of an iPatriot Act. Yet another example no doubt of how you’d have to sacrifice a little more liberty for freedom. Which was in 2001, and still is now an absolute contradiction in terms. The comment itself was made by Laurence Lessig. Yes I’m sure you’re thinking big pedophile beard and ugly glasses, but he’s a Stanford law professor and was instrumental creative commons licensing for internet content. This is the really sensational comment though: “Remember that after 9/11, the government dropped the Patriot Act in about 20 days, and it was passed, and the Patriot Act is huge. I remember someone asking a Justice Department official, how do they write such a large statute so quickly? The answer was, it’s been sitting in a drawer at the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event that would allow them to drop it.” What...

eTax too slow?

PREFACE. If you’re about to do your tax return, i’m about to save you 5 minutes. This is the link to the eTax executable for Windows XP SP2 and above for all I know. You could still read Pride and Predujdice while it downloads, but next time you see me you owe me a beer for saving you about ten clicks to get to the stupid sod. Etax is not a new thing. I have been using it for at least five years now and I find it’s simply getting harder to download (e.g. navigating the ato.gov.au web site) and slower to download. Not the actions of a clever country. At a time when the Australian federal government is talking up a nation-wide broadband network, is it little surprise they’re still coming up a little short online? What am I talking about? If you do your own tax return and you’ve submitted it by now, you’ll know what i’m talking about. Downloading eTax from the ATO web site is hideously, painfully slow. Seriously it takes about how long it took to download back anything back in 1995 when Mosaic was about the only browser around it and Netscape 1.0 wasn’t out yet. It may have been on a 24K modem, I can’t remember. What I can remember is how in 10 years, I thought ridiculously long download times for an 8 meg file would be a thing of the past. Clearly not. So have I benchmarked my claims? Well yes. On an ADSL 2+ connection not more than 800 metres or so from the exchance I was downloading the...

Coca is not a hell of a drug

Well I’m back from Peru and after an exhaustive customs check, I’ve got the all clear. But it did make me think of something that was topical while I was over there. See Peru has a great reputation for growing and cultivating coca. Their neighbors, specifically Columbia, an even greater reputation for taking the bi-product cocaine and selling it to the US. But it’s important to know that coca leaves and cocaine are almost mutually exclusive. So I am going bullshit detective on coca leaves get you high. Cocaine is a drug that takes a ridiculous amount of coca leaves to make. The leaves apparently are chewed until you have loads of it and somehow refined into the blow we all know in the movies. As I’ve now discovered first hand, chewing a mouth full of coca leaves will not get you high. You’d could chew all day and night and not get anywhere! What coca leaves do do is help with altitude sickness, digestion and general well being. In our travels in Peru, we actually found coca flour. It must of been made from ultra ground coca leaves. Basically it’s in a green powerdery form. A teaspoon of that in hot water a day and it will cure whatever ails you trust me! I swear by it. Very high in calcium and a bunch of vitamins too. In daily life, Peruvians especially will drink mate de coca (coca tea, basically a handful of coca leaves in hot water). Farmers chew the leaves as they work. There’s even coca lollies. They ain’t chocolate flavour but it is an acquired...

If ever you needed a reason to condemn the Beijing Olymics…

Sure you might not think the Olympics even matter or are interesting. I would certainly agree with you on that point. The spirit of the Olympics is an entirely different matter though. Wars are meant to stop, soldiers down guns and leave all prejudices left aside to compete as equals on a level playing field. Sadly this won’t be the case from hereon in. In preparation for the Olympics, China is becoming so procifient in dealing with dissent that they’re simply killing dissentors in record numbers and in record time. No trial, just incarceration. If you’re thought to be a threat, apparently you could be dead in a jail cell within hours. Weapon of choice, well an electric batton of course! Just get 7 or 8 cops in a cell and beat the shit out of the prisoner (no phone book required). After all they’re just doing their job. Oh just don’t damage the internal organs, because they harvest and transplant human organs to party faithful, and one can only guess the very, very rich. This die in custody bit is a bit unusual. Usually the prisoner at least used to get the firing squad, or death by lethal injection. The later is typically done in specially designed trucks, so they can quickly operate on the victim in remote provinces and recover the organs on site. So rest assured, some Communist Government cadre or rich Hong Kong guy is going to get a healthy new set of lungs for someone else’s free will. Geez I hope someone pisses on the Olympic flame. This is just not cricket! My condolences...

Say hi to my big gay pierced dad…

Well at least you’d be saying this if you were Karl Rove. Whose apparently Norwegian, pierced penis, queer pioneer adopted father is meant to be according to this article. Some bloke who claims that Louis Rove used to go to piercing parties with him in the seventies, where they’d pierce each other on coffee tables, claims to own Mr Rove’s favorite golden cock ring. If you’re really game, read the source article here. The alledged Louis Rove has so many piercings, he’s like an inverted colander or a gold plated, purple headed Darlek. Well at least he can follow in his son’s footsteps and join the Conservative Party in the UK… Aah when the truth comes out about neo-cons. Oh dear god I hope that this is true. This is funnier than the refugees that snuck into England in Tony Blair’s customised BMW limo… Pure gold! Ironically I found this because I was searching for the apparent new You Am I album title “I’m Proud Of My Gay Son”. This find was almost as good as a new You Am I album. But please Timmy, top this...

Rant of the century. What’s changed in 20 years?

This has been bugging me for ages, what’s changed since I was a kid. Here are some of the answers TV Straight up this is the biggest change. There’s no darkness anymore! Comedy shows like Fast Forward feature scathing satire of political parties. Directly taking the piss out of the policies du jour. Even companies running advertising on their network! It wasn’t elitist, it wasn’t one sided. It was purely bi-partisan, satirical humour that reflected the concerns and the trends of the day, with absolute hilarity. Even A Current Affair used to dabble in it a bit with some parodies at the end of the week. Parody was a tool used in TV to really get stuck in and remind you what was of genuine concern to people. Now you’re simply told what’s a concern unless you’re watching after 11pm on ABC. What we have now is simply witty skits and acted out puns, sans sexism, politics, current affairs or anything remotely sue-worthy! I’m talking about Rove, Skithouse, The Nation, The Wedge. Almost anything channel 10 puts out! Sadly news stories are now delivered to journos shrink wrapped and ready to go and TV comedy has been watered down to barely even parodies of celebrities. Because even that is too litigious. It’s just lame. I really miss when television was entertaining because it was objective and intelligent. Culture OK so this has vastly improved. And at least if you live near the city, you’ll Melbourne is a part of Asia now culturally not just geographically. There are more cultural influences at fashion, work and play now. Not that you’d...