Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brendon Nelson is Emo Man

The leader of the federal opposition in Australia, Brendan Nelson is fast becoming known as the Emo Man.

Never mind global warming, the war in Iraq, inflation or anything else which is important, Brendan Nelson is suffering some serious chaffing, getting his knickers in a twist over whether we should be cutting 2 cents or 5 cents off the petrol excise in Australia.

I listen to News Radio on my clock radio and they broadcast the Parliament when it's in session. This morning he tried to censure Kevin Rudd (PM) over the issue. Half a wasted day later, Emo Man got censured after Rudd turned it round :)

Next time he winges over a few million bucks, someone should remind himself of this waste of time... Time to chill out with a Bacardi Geezer!

Accessing Mapguide via Studio from behind a proxy

Mapguide Studio doesn't seem to have any proxy support, which is pretty annoying when your working behind a corporate firewall.

An easy solution is to use Apache as a reverse proxy

Make sure that mod_proxy_http and mod_proxy are loaded, usually this involves un-commenting the LoadModule in the httpd.conf file

ProxyRequests off
ProxyPass /mapguide_extsite/
ProxyPassReverse /mapguide_extsite/
ProxyRemote http://corporate-firewall:8080/

If the proxy server requires a username & password you can use the old username and password in a url trick

ProxyRemote http://user:pass@corporate-firewall:8080/

UPDATE: unfortunately the username password bit doesn't work, there is however a bug with a patch for a proxyremote extension from early 2006

Monday, May 26, 2008

don't take Bill Henson out of context

There's been a whole silly debate going on about Bill Henson's photography of adolescent naked children being child pornography. linking to one of these photos could be breaking the law, possibly, possibly not. (don't worry the link is safe to look at)

Most people haven't probably even seen his work and those complaining wouldn't of either, but that's normal from the conservative side of life. Alas PM Rudd has lost me on this one, he missed the point....

As I had seen some of his works, I cast my mind back to the last exhibition I saw at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. This was an amazing exhibition, Bill Henson's work is dark, beautiful and serene and the gallery was dimly lit. Expertly curated, in a manner which set the tone for the exhibition, the atmosphere was more like a church than an adult shop, but let's leave that one alone for now.

I'd like to point out we don't ban a religious text because a crazy fundamentalist takes a few paragraphs out of context, and then uses it to incite hatred or violence.

Taking one of these nude photos out of context, presents exactly the same issue.

My memories of seeing those images included questioning whether or not it was child porn, but in the context, it wasn't anything like that. The fact I was challenged to ask that question, validates it as art, it made me think and form my own opinion.

As the general population is not allowed to see child pornography, it's a catch-22 because we just don't know and thus we can only engage our imaginations to guess what it may entail, not that you'd want to.

Here we have a thought provoking artist being attacked for being thought provoking. At least the tone is changing in Australia, Rudd is conservative, but the big difference is that people are feeling more free to speak out and discuss than they did in the Howard years.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

WTF? Strange facebook Ad!

I just noticed something a little different about ad on Facebook...

I think someone got hacked!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ubuntu progress - Netgear and DVICO issues

So my machine finally arrived and now i'm sitting in front of a new machine, running Ubuntu 8.0.4 64. everything normal went well and I enjoyed playing tetris whilst installing :)

What sucks, well my fusion HDTV tuner card is a new one and not supported and i there's a lot of almost answers out there

root@zserver:~# lsusb
Bus 008 Device 003: ID 0fe9:db98 DVICO
Bus 008 Device 002: ID 0fe9:db98 DVICO
and the Netgear wg311v3 which, from everything i have seen it's a pain in the butt with Linux


Monday, May 19, 2008

Brendon Nelson is Shameless

The demise of the Right continues in Australia at the moment, for those people overseas who don't know what's going, we just had the first Labour Rudd/Swan Federal Budget.

You maybe familiar with John Howard, he lost the last election and his own seat, which brings us to Mr Nelson.

Down under, when you have a child, you get a baby bonus of $5,000 bucks or there abouts. Showing their left wings roots, the government has decided to means test this handout and limit it to families earning less than $150,000 which has caused outrage from the Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson.

Incidentally, it's funny that he was once a member of the Labour Party and was previously the leader of the most powerful union in Australia. A true conservative indeed!

There was a comical speech from Brendan Nelson on this issue

"Every mother loves her baby, every baby is valued and Mr Rudd should value all babies equally. We should not live in Australia where Mr Rudd thinks that some babies are more valuable than others. It’s very, very important that Mr Rudd understand that every mother loves her baby and this should be an Australia where all babies are equal."

Brenden is also totally outraged, ( he nearly blew his top over this during his budget reply) over the Government's plan to raise the tax on Ready-To-Drink (RTD's) or Alcopops to fix a loophole which makes these drinks taxable at the same rate as spirits.

Which is funny because he initially supported the government's approach and has previously raised the issue in Parliament himself.

All this is meant to tackle the teenage binge drinking epidemic in Australia, Brenden saw his chance and is now standing up for the average bloke who likes a Bundy & Coke after work.

For those not familiar with the photo-shopped subject, it's Frank Gallagher from Shameless, who inspired, over a beer or two, my French mate Thomas to get creative :)

My long term prediction is that the Liberal Party will be rebranded sooner or later, because the Brand is totally shot... They hold across the entire nation, only the Brisbane local council.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Firefox 3.0 RC 1 and Mapguide AJAX Viewer is broken

Firefox 3 is not currently compatible with Mapguide's AJAX Viewer.

Flexible Fusion layouts using 1.0.6 are working fine so far.

Using Mapguide 2.0.1, I am seeing a crash on XP SP3 with Apache and other Apache error messages on Linux, however, Apache on Linux doesn't crash.

That said, most of my addons are disabled with Firefox 3.0 RC 1 :(

But the Awesome Bar is absolutely brilliant, addictive and I reckon it will drive Firefox adoption mushc higher... it rocks

Friday, May 16, 2008

Living in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS next week

I am getting a shiny new desktop machine tomorrow from 4DC and i am going to install Ubuntu Desktop and try and use it for a week.

My motivation was that after cracking my laptop screen last weekend, I need a machine to use while it's being serviced.

As my new desktop will have 4Gb of ram, i want something 64-bit. Windows is a joke in that regard IMHO, I actually do work on my machine so Vista is a totally dud option for me and let's face it, Ubuntu is the cute posterboy linux distro, so my decision was easy.

I am going to try out Mythtv and use this machine as a media center, so i'm getting a fusion dual HDTV receiver. I'll be interested to see how it flys.

Work wise, Firefox 3.0 beta5 is the default browser (nice) so email (gmail) and web is covered. Server wise Mapguide, Coldfusion, Oracle XE, VMWare are all supported.

For an IDE, I am going to use CFEclipse via Pulse and Oracle SQL Developer should cover all the bases.

I will have an XP image (legal) under VMWare handy for any irreplaceable Window's stuff like Mapguide Studio. But i will avoid windows all week if i can :)

stay tuned for updates

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mapguide 2.0.1 testing results

Mapguide 2.0.1 is just round the corner, I have installed it on windows and linux (RHEL 4) and it's much more stable :)

Several styling quirks have been resolved, it feels a tad faster and there's a new version of fusion which resolves issues with tiled maps.

If you compiling on Linux I would recommend using subversion over the tar ball, that way with svn status you can see if anything has changed on the branch.

The install problem with the apache conf which requiring some manual editing is also fixed.

Mapguide install notes for windows

During the beta of mapguide 2, Jason Birch provided this hint for installing mapguide to another directory than "c:\program files" as the mapguide installers don't support choosing a directory and lots of people don't install to c on a server these days.

you can pass the install directory using the command line

MgServerSetup- /V"INSTALLDIR=\"C:\\Program Files\\MapGuideOpenSource2.0.1\\Server\""

MgWebServerExtensionsSetup- /V"INSTALLDIR=\"C:\\Program Files\\MapGuideOpenSource2.0.1\\WebServerExtensions\""

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why doesn't The Age link to sites it covers?

It's a source of endless annoyance when i read The Age online these days, it never provides links to website even when the article is directly about a website... doh!

This story is about a blog therefore in the interests of people forming their own option, IMHO they should link to the site, period, no discussion.

I could see some argument that their page rank (7) would increase the ranking of the site they are covering, but that's how the web works! They have only 2 point's more than my blog!

In this day and age (no pun intended) with everyone talking about the death of the newspaper and the move from information delivery via dead tree to burnt coal powered instant gratification, i would think Fairfax Digitial would get it.

It's not very hard to link, use a <a href="url">site name</a> :) isn't any better, but that's no surprise.

The actual blog site is locked down, but my argument is the same none the less. Links are used to provide structure on line and they help people research stuff...

The irony is to watch the Liberals fighting each other, thanks John, I love your legacy :) You have made Australia a better place to live

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Great MSN Messenger Screenshot Tip

Reading about digbsy, i found this which contained this gem of a tip

We all know if you do a Alt+PrintScreen or PrintScreen it copies the Screenshot to the Clipboard.

In MSN/WLM, if you press Ctrl+V (or right click and Paste) in the Chatting area, you can send the screenshot to the contact straightaway.

You don't have to save the file temporarily to send. I wished this was possible with Digsby as well.

Vote here for it

Digbsy is a must have application, IMHO

Digsby is yet-another-multi-im tool. I love it, it has support for facebook chat, twitter, gmail, msn, g-talk and so on. Altogether in one client which looks nice.. Even supports myspace, but that's so 1990's these days.

File transfer isn't working for me tho. I like to dock it on the left side with auto hide enabled. You can combine multiple contacts (ie same person on msn, facebook etc) into a single contact in the list which really cleans things up.

It works on Linux, OS X and Windows as well and you get growl-ish bubble type notifications on windows from it :) (Updated not quite yet for no windows)

Check out the features through the screen shots

I have recommended it to many friends and they all loved it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Time to call the ACCC over Microsoft

Asus is going to be selling their EeePC with XP for less than the Linux version and then top to if all off, they will only being selling the Linux version in computer stores and not mainstream retailers.

Asus are citing their relationship with Microsoft, and the Linux version does have a 20 Gb drive over the XP version which has a 12 Gb drive.

Sounding like some coercive use of market power, I'll be interested so see if the ACCC investigates.

Still it's nice to see that the potential botnet slaves will have less harddisk space to play with than the linux versions.

At the end of the day, the reality is most people use a web browser and email for most of their daily tasks. Firefox shits all over IE7 and desktop applications are becoming limited to very very specific tasks.

Given the stupid extortion that internet access is today in Australia, people aren't going to be surfing on their EeePC on the train, especially in Melbourne, because the trains are so crowded!

Talking about uncompetetive things, I like the sounds coming from the Rudd Government about splitting Telstra. The new Trade Practices act provisions are going to be moving from the requirement of proving intent to hurt a competitor to the more common requirement of showing that market power has been abused and harm has occurred.

I believe there is also a provision which allows the ACCC to ask the court to force a company to divest (split) a company which has engaged in such activities.

IAMNAL ( I am not a lawyer ) but when i heard this, I immediately thought of the case where telstra was selling land lines for less than the wholesale price for other teleco's.

Life is better under Kevin!

That said we all know how the baby bell debacle turned out in the states.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Young Australians want a republic, they just don't know it yet

Roy Morgan have published a poll about the views on Australia becoming a Republic

"What would please the Monarchists is 64% of those aged 14-17 say Australia should remain a Monarchy, with 23% supporting a Republic and 13% undecided."

I guess if Monarchists are happy with ignorant views, they will be happy. Kids aged 14-17 have not been exposed to any of the details about the Republic, it has been a dead issue since John Howard's stupid referendum.

I think it will rise again in popularity with the young once it becomes a mainstream issue again. That said the Royal Family has been so boring and uncontroversial recently there isn't the back lash which was going on with the whole Charles Camillagate debacle.

Maybe Rudd should include addressing the middle upper class welfare in the budget and stop sending millions to the royal family...

As for the model, I'm not even sure what i want anymore. Things aren't so bad these days under Rudd, I find myself looking back over at the Liberals (they are on the endangered species list, if they were on CH 9 they would be axed or moved to late night TV) for inspiration.

I was born around the time of the dismissal which is one of the key issues, seeing Downer talking to the Monarchists recently on TV I was very clear that their support base is facing the biggest issue of all, the march of time... the whole room was full of old people...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Coldfusion is more a solution, than just programming language

Peter Bell blogged about the removal of Coldfusion from the Tiobe list becuase it didn't qualify as a programming language. ColdFusion Isn't a Programming Language?!

Digging deeper into the Tiobe site, I saw the basis of the survey relates to the number of hits

The ratings are calculated by counting hits of the most popular search engines. The search query that is used is "+<language> programming"

So i am using this term here, just because it's true, Coldfusion is a programming language, application server, markup language and a great solution to rapid web development.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Quickly moving data with a select statement

There's a few really useful tricks with a select statement I'd like to share. Primarily this is with oracle but it works on other databases as well.

  1. You can always quickly create a table using a select statement, it won't, however, create the indexes on the new table
    create table zac.user_role_bak_apr08
    as select * from zac.user_role;

  2. You can also use a select with an insert statement.

    a) if the table has an identical column list
    insert into zac.user_role_bak_apr08
    select * from zac.user_role;

    b) otherwise you should specify the column names
    insert into zac.user_role_bak_apr08
    (user_id, role_id, lastupdated)
    select user_id, role_id, datecreated
    from zac.user_role_bak_apr08;

Remember you have to commit when use the insert approach, but not with the
create table approach.