Thursday, December 17, 2009

#nocleanfeed - what happens when the filter crashes?

Firstly, let me quote my oldest friend on this

Obviously given my views it's #nocleanfeed for me. The government has no business in morality. Kartar
Secondly, policy will always drag behind technology, always.

My big concern here is what happens when it fails, reading around the web, I saw an article which quoted, I think a consultant working for Telstra, which said if a site like youtube was blocked, the net filtering server would crash...

So, all geeks know, it's not that hard to crash a server, whether via a co-ordinated tweet or getting dodgy with DDOS from a bot net.

Put simply, Krudd and Conroy's morale Censorship cursade is a big target for some "heavy systems testing".

It was after all only tested with ADSL1. sigh..

My question is what happens when the filtering server fails/crashes/whatever?

Do we get our entire internet access blocked? or do we get a clean feed?

I'd suggest it goes without question, that these days, you simply can't block the entire internet, therefore, I forsee these servers doing filtering will become the hacker targets of choice, which (e)mail servers of today are.

Look at the Virgin Blue chaos from a single cable cut, that said, why the hell did they have a single point of failure?

Of course that's assuming this actually happens, Krudd was doing pretty well before this re-announcement. Punch drunk policy, like Barnaby Joyce foaming at the mouth whilst filibustering about the ETS / CPRS, is not a good look.

This will be Krudd's Work Choices and it will only benefit the greens, as Abbott, whilst extremely entertaining, is completely unelectable.

There is no point alienating your political base Mr Krudd.

Meanwhile in news to hand, The Melbourne Comedy Festival has announced a new headline act, the Liberal Party's Annual Conference. Lateline will be extended to two hours a night during the conference, as Abbott will be backflipping on gaffs everyday, and the ABC doesn't want to appear biased.

Monday, November 30, 2009

#spill the hashtag which gripped a twitterdom

A truely amazing experience today on twitter, the federal opposition are having a #spill and twitter became the center of attention. Far more than #qanda, twitter was tracking the pulse of national politics and it became a trending topic worldwide.

As people tuned into Lateline and the 7.30 Report, they twittered suprise at Kerry being behind the eight-ball with the latest news. When a story breaks, we turn to the internet, TV is being left behind..

Funny what happens down under in November, The Dismissal, Kevin07 the Spill, it's becoming the Friday the 13 of Australian Politics . is my small selection of interesting people is where you can watch the nation tweet in real time

Enjoy! I certainly have been.

Rudd should take 'a holiday' more often

Sunday, November 29, 2009

After moving from Modelglue to Coldbox, suddenly it's fun again

After using Model Glue (MG) for a few years, I started about 6 months using Coldbox (CB) and boy has it been a refreshing experience. Both claim to be Model-View-Controller or MVC frameworks, but as I have said in the past, Model Glue is MVCX, that is MVC + XML.

I hate the X in the MVCX, purely because XML isn't a programming language. CFML is, and that is what made programming Coldfusion (with Coldbox) fun again.

You simply can't express complex ideas simply in an XML file, it's a no brainer. The XML files used in Model Glue are highly repeditive and violate the DRY principle.

I am a CF developer since 96 and while i really benefited from using MG, I was continually battling the concept of trying to be 'true' to the framework and working with the XML files, without breaking the basic MVC concept. Anything complex always ended up with what I saw as dirty workarounds.

Alas, in business, you can't just simply switch frameworks on a large project as most often the client isn't going to pay (or understand) why you need to spend a few weeks rewriting something which already works.

So a new project came up and I finally got dirty with CB, which has turned out to be rather fun. CB has such a broad scope of functionality and great documentation, I find myself writing code without having to work around the limitations imposed by MG.

As I have been doing this programming thing for quite a long time now, I have learnt that often when I get that nigglying feeling that I should be doing something different or that an extra bit of work here or there, it pays off.

Of course that can be a complete scope creep trap for some developers, but that's the role of the senior developer / tech lead / solution architect to understand and make such rational calls.

I use the analogy of selling helium balloons at a fun park. If you fill the balloons and seal them properly , you can walk around all day and just focus on selling the balloons. If the balloons leak, your going to be dealing with parents with crying kids coming back all day to complain, plus you'll be making trips back to your van to refill your stock.

When I worked at a SME a few years ago, on a big project for a Telco, I was lucky enough to have my desk in the same area as the support team. That meant I got to over hear problems as they came in and over time, that allowed me to stablised the project with targetted improvements that so drastically reduced the amount of support required that the project as deemed mature and was outsourced to an Indian support team.

What I love about CF is how productive you can be and how amazing the CF community is. Adobe, has rather expensive support, but that has always been less of an issue for most CF developers & shops because of the community, most of us simply have never used Adobe support.

All I'm saying is that if your using Model Glue, let me recommend taking Coldbox for a spin, it will make your programming life much more enjoyable & productive.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mapguide 2.1 final windows build

Jason Birch announced the release of the Final 2.1 candidate installer for Windows

2.1 Release Notes

This is a really solid release which resolves a lot of issues and should
make the MapGuide experience even better, it's focus was

  • Performance, scalability, stability
  • Better and more informative error messages
I have been using early builds of this for quite a while in production
and it's much more stable the previous releases.

If your using an earlier release, I would highly recommend trying out this
new release.

Raster support now works out of the box and supports raster reprojection.

Road labelling has had a number of useful improvements as well

The Fusion Map Viewer has had a major rewrite and is much faster and improved

On the Linux side, the build is still somewhat troublesome and we are
looking for help on implementing CMake and supporting Ubuntu.

This release has taken quite a while to get out the door, I blogged about
some of the new features in 2.1 back in Jan.

and don't forget MapGuide Central!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Climate Change Denial Down Under

Last the ABC aired a piece on Four Corners, Malcolm and the Malcontents about the Federal Opposition and it's position on the proposed ETS or CPRS as we call it down here

Now if the issue wasn't as critically serious, this Tragi-comedy would almost be funny. If there was ever an argument for generational change in the Liberal Party, this was it.

I am sick of the right wing's attitude to this issue. Just because your elected to Canberra, it doesn't mean your an expert. If you have studied statistics at a tertiary level, comprehend climate science and are prepared to face your peers, then I'll listen.

The Australian people have already voted for action on this issue and just because half your main supporters are either (and I'm sorry to say this), are either ignorant of the science, or that old they won't even be around in 2020, it's no excuse.

Through all this childish debate, everyone seems to have forgotten that the opposition are the opposition and it only take a few forward thinking senators to cross the floor and the bill will be passed.

It's high time for the Australian Centre Right to stand up on this issue. Whilst this is should be just matter of principle, based on the science, there are more votes in supporting this, than there is in avoiding the issue.

I implore any Coalition voters out there to watch this report, form an opinion and then contact your senators. The CPRS is a bill which can be changed once your party regains power, we just need to start now, send the market the signal, it's common sense.


IAN MACFARLANE, I have a lot of new found respect for you!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

A must see presentation about the business of software

Just a quick post, Paul Ramsey made a brilliant presentation at FOSS4G 2009 Keynote

If you work in the software industry, you should really watch this...

FOSS4G was really an amazing conference

Friday, September 04, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

activate firebug for the selected firefox tab problem - SOLUTION!!

Ever find that Firebug 1.5 shows the annoying "activate firebug for the selected firefox tab" with every page reload?

i.e. firebug is disabling itself on every new page and reload?

Simple, click the Firebug icon and make sure the Off for all Web Pages isn't checked.


The main problem is that there are two split option screens,
all options should be under the option menu.

Firebug's 1.5x beta UI is a bit quirky and confusing. With one slip of the
mouse and it's utterly painful, showing feedback about the setting on the active page
would be useful, personally i hate that screen

Telling people to reload extensions in this thread about this subject
is such overkill, I mean blame other extensions, with not even
a questions about what extensions the user is running?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Culture Dump: Cheaper or Better Books?

I have been following the ongoing discussion about the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the price of book and I really feel it's another case of don't let accountants make policy.

Books are great, I love them. It's like music, I always prefer to buy a CD from a local band at one of their own gig's, because, I know that the musicians are getting a decent slice of the purchase price.

The one argument, out of them all on this issue, with which I really agree with is about remainder dumping in Australia. This is when a overseas publisher has excess stock and 'dumps' it cheaply.

That sucks because the problem when you buy a copy from a big chain bookseller who has imported remainders, apparently the author (and local publisher) then get paid nothing.

All depends on the contracts I guess, but the point is,

  1. when you buy something of a cultural nature,
  2. your actually voting with you wallet,
  3. saying I like this artists work,
  4. and thus saying, I'd like to support their efforts.
Obviously it's a donkey vote, if the artist isn't getting paid???

Peter Garrett recently launched a policy about residuals for artists on resale of their work. If that issue with remainders could be addressed in a similar way, we'd be getting somewhere.

It's a nice solution, we don't want to become the publishing wasteland than NZ has become.

Back on the accountants making policy...Is it better to make our artists poorer through cheaper books? Or is it more productive, to make our artists better paid and thus able to produce more content, which thru increased sales would become cheaper?

Alan Fels always cites the music industry as a similar case, but there's one important fact he seems to have ignored:
Most musicians I've met over the years, including quite a few successful ones over, make most of their money by playing gigs, not the scratchings they get from CD sales.
I'd vote for better books myself. There's more to culture than $$$$$..

Disclaimer: I work as a IT Consultant in the publishing industry, these are just my own opinions and musings

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CF9 Rocks but CFMAP would be better with Openlayers

I've just been watching the CFMeetup about CF9, I am super impressed with what the have done.

One thing which bugs me with the current beta, is the CFMAP tag which is directly tied to Google Maps.

I've been using Openlayers for a while now and I am honestly rather suprised that Adobe has chosen to support only google maps.

This is problematic as there are a lot of restrictions on what you can do with Google Maps, ie using it with password protected sites and the like.

Openlayers supports a wide range of different mapping providers and I really think it would be better to add support via openlayers, mainly because you get to program to an API which is cross provider.

It sucks if you start a project with google maps and then you hit licensing restrictions ( which i think a lotta people ignore anyway) and have to move away from google maps.

If your doing anything beyond simplely showing a maps, your going to be writing some custom javascript and it you use the google maps api, you can't easily switch because your tied to the google api.

If you use openlayers, you can switch mapping providers ****really**** easily.

Check out this demo with lots of different commercial providers and the other examples. Note the exmaples

I filed an enhancement request on the new CF9 bug db

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cisco VPN Client Crash with Comodo - Solution

One of my clients just changed over to a Cisco VPN (, but after it was installed,
my dear old XP box would hard crash at the Comodo add network dialog on submit. Nasty...

I found a solution which is to install the VPN client without the firewall which contains ZoneAlarm stuff?

Basically extract the installer and run it with

msiexec.exe /i vpnclient_setup.msi DONTINSTALLFIREWALL=1

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Introducing Explore Australia

After several years of work, I am happy to announce that Explore Australia is now live on the web.

Explore Australia is an interactive travel guide which covers over 700 different tourist towns and regions.

The site was built using Coldfusion 8, Model Glue, MapGuide Open Source, Oracle XE, jQuery & Openlayers and runs on Ubuntu via Amazon Web Services.

This project wouldn't of been possible with out the hard work of all the wonderful developers who contribute their time into these open source projects. I've learnt a lot and managed to contribute bits back myself.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

KISS: Avoid Stored Procedures and save money!

I'm not a fan of stored procedures (SPs) for anything except complex data processing generally.

Having just read Writing and Calling Stored Procedures, I felt like explaining my point of view on this stuff. It's sunday after all.

Firstly, I'm developer who considers sql to be mandatory for the developer, rather than having dba's doing all the sql stuff.

That's just an approach which creates an unnecessary bottleneck in the development cycle. I have often seen bad results when developers don't understand the database and it's concepts, or maybe the DBA's didn't understand (or have time to) the application either.

DBA's are there to help with the complex stuff. Use them wisely (and cost effectively!)

This example of using SP's to ends up adding yet another layer to your app and is more complex & longer that the code it intends to replace. Suddenly it's also more work to say add a column to the insert as you have yet another chunk of code to update.

Using stored procedures means you can't easily work with multiple versions of code against the same database (as your logic in SP's is only once per db, not back in the app layer). You lose the ability to easily version your data access layer and hence things tend to stagnate.

If you database is 10 GB, do you really want to have to be running a different instance for each build with changes to the db layer. Doesn't that sounds like a rather expensive approach? It's a recession after all.

Tuning SQL for Coldfusion app with stored procedures, is also more complex in many ways! Personally I love how easy it is to tweak the sql in normal bound CFQUERIES. Copy from debug, tweak in something like TOAD and then update the CF code, easy!

What I love the most about Coldfusion is how clean looking (aside from the verbose cfqueryparam) the database support is when compared to other programming langauges.

Alas the ugly embedded sql in strings syntax of some other languages, almost necessitates SP's

Plus you can't port the app to another (perhaps free database) without rewriting the entire sql layer! Expensive huh?

SQL Server people seem to love (and needs) SP's more than with say Oracle. With Oracle you get the same result and performance just by using simple bound sql. I think the horrible muck that was classic ASP database access really started this trend.

A lot of the common uses of SP's I have seen is what I consider Premature Optimisation

Most of the performance myths about SP's date back to the old days of 100Mhz servers. Servers are cheaper than developers right? Not that I'm advocating something which is going to make your app run slower either (generally speaking).

My Advice, avoid SP's (until there's a clear issue which they can resolve) and enjoy the nice flexibility of bound sql and faster development cycles.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stimulating Discussions on QandA

Last nights Q&A on the ABC was brilliant, even more so when combined with Twitter! The video is already available on the site, transcripts to come!

On twitter, the top trends for a while was people commenting on the show by including a hash tag "#qanda" in the tweets.

The range of guests was interesting, Julie Bishop, deputy opposition leader; Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business; David Marr, journalist; and Cindy Pan, doctor and author; and of course PJ O'Rourke.

The discussion was wide ranging and once again, a right wing female liberal politician came off looking second best. Julie Bishop, like Rachel Fry, national president of the Young Liberals, was intelligently shot down by both David Marr and also PJ O'Rourke.

A few of my selected highlights were

  1. David Marr shooting down Julie Bishops attack on the Rudds Handouts @ 19:30, nicely broken by the Hamster comment from PJ.
  2. David Marr saying that opposition was good for Julie, because it gave her time to think
  3. PJ's passionate comments about refugees actually being good for a country rather than a burden
So I'm a leftie, I really do enjoy watching the right wingers squirm on such shows because it's one of those unusual moments these days where a politican can be properly challenged.

At one point some tweeted about PJ O'Rourke being the kinda of right winger than they thought (or was scared that) Malcolm Turnbull might be.

What was refreshing last night was watching some of the panellists thinking and talking, rather than falling back on blind belief. Personally I hate blind belief, we all have brains, we should all use them.

Even with religion, I personally view it more as an approach rather than a belief. When approached in that fashion, religion can be a very strong and powerful force for good. The moment you take your brain out of the equation and fall back on blind belief, things start to go wrong.

A little aside, but I am rambling, during the American Election, I remember watching CNN and the live twittering and when Obama was talking about health care, I tweeted something and someone commented back along the lines of, "so if they pay for our health care, should they pay for our food too?"

It reminded me of how lucky we are in Australia, far from perfect, but getting there!

So after you watch QandA, there's a good article over on the Huffington Post as well, Why I'm Not Now and Have Never Been the Democrats' "Rush Limbaugh"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

iiNet free radio station playlist (m3u) Updated!

I shouldn't be so hard to find, the iiNet Freezone is a classic case
of what happens when you give a graphic designer a copy of flash
with explaining what the web is all about, nice easy to access content in HTML!!!!.

So without further ado, here's the iinet link to the page, complete with error message, that contains a playlist for all their free radio stations

Updated Link: 20/04/2011

Freezone radio station playlist updated (shoutcast PLS format all streams) (M3U playlist format all streams) (M3U Playlist format without duplicate streams)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Facebook is lame, what about using that widescreen

Ok, the world et all reckon Facebook screwed up badly with their new design.

I concur...

People love knobs and buttons to tweak play and configure things (badly but hey), most of the comments I have read about the new approach relate it to twitter, but in many ways it's gone almost as brittle as MySpamSpace.

Remember Myspace, lets not even go there.

I have said it before that FB's biggest failure IMHO is groups, currently FB groups are a bit like buying a Che Guevara t-shirt and thinking your a revolutionary..

Most people have the sucky new widescreens, some unlucky people have these 22" 1400x900 screens which say more about the lame influence of the Movie Industry than anything about usabilty.

Newspaper and books have traditionally an aspect ratio which is higher and than wider. That's because it's far more useful. As we are all climate change aware these days, I pose the question about all that white space on your average screen and how many black bubbles of CO2 are being wasted? Give us all more vertical resolution pleeeeaaasse

So back to FB. I would like to see the news feed break into an OPTIONAL Zac's Widescreen layout where I can see the summary (old style) newsfeed LHS, (with block this stupid app updates options please), with mouse over expanded views into the specific content RHS.

Why should we have to click and reload move just to see someone's profile, when the above approach achieves the same? Sure there is all this silly hitcount stats rubbish, but why not move to model which acknowledges information overload and allow us to quickly scan into something and then decide we want to read?

The newsfeed in FB was quite an innovation, no idea if it was FB who first pioneered this but they definitely got it out there.

So let's draw my two themes together, FB Groups could be the next big thing, all they need to do is adopt the same approach used for profiles for groups.

Where the F%&*%K is my newsfeed for groups? Discussions and comments are hidden, deep down and beneath one to two pages of boiler plate stuff that I honestly read once and then just blatantly IGNORE!!!!!

When I decide that I want to be a poster boy by joining a group which sounds cool or states a point, like "No Australian Internet Censorship", I don't really give a rats arse, ( I am refraining from swearing today) about 10 random people in the group.

As I am making a statement, similar to one sheep following another sheep who has found some nice tufts of green grass, all I care about is that there are 5 users or 2.5 million. Don't even get me started on the lame joke that viewing members of a FB group!!!

FB groups should be just like profiles, updates first, static info, a click away. Plus we need some innovative approaches to showing discussions, aka Gmail.

This could be so F%&^&%^king huge, it's unbelievable that FB have consistently failed to do anything in this area.

So in Zac's Widescreen FB, we have a two column home page, LHS has a configurable newsfeed with rollover insight into the newsfeed items. Groups becomes more like people and the conversation level will grow.

Twitter is something different and IMHO will never achieve the sheer joy of comments on FB about status updates.

Nuff said..... Time for my second Coffee of the day :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sideways: Travels With Kafka, Hunter S. And Kerouac

After the pleasure of attending this book's launch last week, I'm chomping at the bit to read it!

I'm actually going to wait for a few relaxed hours to really enjoy the book and potentially read the entire book in one sitting :) Otherwise despite my speed reading, I'll end up staying up very very late reading..

From Rainbow Serpent 2006

I love the title, having first met Patrick on the renegade Cairns floor at the end of Rainbow Serpent in 2006 (as seen above in full flight), I have no doubt he's conjured up what is going to be a highly entertaining read.

Having not read the book, I'd suggest jumping over to the Patrick's site and having a read about both the author and his drug fuelled adventures around the world.

You can buy it online at Boomerang Books or if your in Melbourne, I know that Readings had some copies last week!

I'll follow up with a review

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick fix for the annoying windows services admin ui defaults

One of the great interface crimes with Windows is the Computer Management Console!

As a web developer, I end up starting and stopping services a lot. The default interface is rubbish, but did you know you can change it? Probably not, it's classic poor interface design.

I really hate the extended versus standard mode default and that I have to make al these redundant clicks... but there is a solution!

So here you go, How to Configure Services MMC Snap-in to Open in Standard View by Default

I can't believe I never thought of searching for this before.....

Basically the cliff notes summary is, you can always open via explorer a MMC file in "Author" mode via a right click, tweak it and then save it as the default view.

For example in my case is simply having Computer Management open to Services in Standard Mode.

3 annoying clicks you never have to repeat again!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

HOWTO: stop a router crashing during a 46.4C heatwave

Surviving the heat down in Melbourne today was hard, 46.4C! new record

even with air-con my router was continually overheating and rebooting, so i had to wack it directly in the air-con vent in order to stay online! that's 35 Celsius btw

Paul Keating on Lateline talks economics

Paul Keating is for people outside of Australia, is the ex Prime Minister and Treasurer (who floated the aussie dollar, BTW)

He's become more of a statesmen as he gets older, it's really worth watching.

Ideas for CFML improvements, less tag bloat!

Following on my CFLOCK type="parallel" idea, i was working a session cfc today and was about to do some CFLOCK'ing for a few things. It dawned on my that perhaps adding a option to CFFUNCTION

<cffunction name="setRating" returnType="void" lock="session|name|application|server"
access="public" output="false" lock>

Would be a nice language improvement, the easier that locking is, the more developers will use it and it could help reduce the verboseness of CFML.

Sounds like some interesting things are on the way for CF9 which sound good. Ray had a poll on his block about whether or not you would use CFSCRIPT exclusively for your CFC's in CF9 ( which can ). I don't mind tags for the component and function lines myself at all.

Adding LANG="CFML|CFSCRIPT" to the CFFUNCTION statement which would remove two redundant CFSCRIPT tags! heck make it an option on CFCOMPONENT!

Talking of CFQUERYPARAM, here's hoping for a new CF function bindVar'ish as a functional equivalent, coz they are way to long for such oft repeated tags. Aliases for these tags like CFARG and CFQP would also nice.

OR could we just overload CFPARAM with cfsqltype="CF_SQL_VARCHAR etc but (again VARCHAR should suffice on its own!)" and null="yes|no|auto"?

kinda neat, plus you get the validation stuff all in one place should you need?

or lets face it, why add a not make cfcs just return a bind parameter inside inside the cfc. CFQUERY creates a bind parameter, why do we need a return type anyway? that could just become the default inside a CFC.
DATE_REVIEWED=<cfqueryparam value="#document.getDateReviewed()#" cfsqltype="CF_SQL_VARCHAR">,


now that's a lot less diverse, hey CF can guess a type for variables, why not let it automatically decide as well
Adding scope="cfc=document" to CFQUERY could then reduce that to just
So I guess I'm saying with CF code, I love the structure of it, it's just a bit verbose at times.

Your thoughts?

Also CF9 really needs native support the for the java classloader stuff, imho.

BTW it was 46.4C today in Melbourne, Australia! phew

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The next MapGuide is shaping up

Following the Timeline for MapGuide Open source, there has been a flurry of commits in the last week or so. What is particularly refreshing to see is a lot of minor bug fixes and tweaks which reflect the evolution of this product over time.

Evolution is great thing to see, here are some highlights of the next release:

  • Performance improvements, mainly the caching of schema information which drastically improves the performance of database providers. (RFC 53)

  • Unmanaged mappings no longer require a server restart (#829)

  • Raster reprojection (RFC 51) means you no longer need to have your raster in the current map projection

  • Legend images aren't requested when the legend is hidden (#827)

  • Numerous WMS fixes (#794, #808)

  • Annotation drawing should be faster when display is dense (#761)

  • Pooled RDBMS connection fails if RDBMS drops connection (#825)

  • New CS-MAP projection system, as used in MapGuide Enterprise(RFC 55)

  • Polylines can disappear completely using AGG renderer (#632)

  • Advanced placement problems (#732)

  • Detailed Server Logging (RFC 49)

  • ResourceExists API call implemented (#288)

  • MgWktReaderWrite performs horrendously on large Polygons (#627)

Fusion has also been drastically improved and loads much much faster!

King Oracle 0.8.5 is the first version of this provider which I have been happy enough to actually put into production! This also works with the current release 2.0.2

All up the next release is shaping up to be a pleasure to use!

Fingers crossed that the long oustanding GDAL provider problem gets fixed (#462)

I am also hoping to see some improvements with the labelling for tiled maps (#792)
and the issues with PNG8 compression not preserving fill colors (#813)

For more information, head over to Mapguide Central

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oz Gov complains about less visitors, but is waay too strict

Over on The Register, there's a story about Sun MySQLers barred from Oz, which highlights how disfunctional Australia's visa system is. These people are smart, well paid and are going to spend money. With a world wide recession, this kinda of malarkey is costing Australian jobs, rather than protecting them.

Over Christmas, my brothers wife who is Indian and works in the states, couldn't get a tourist visa to come visit for one week. This is complicated because I think the shortest visa is three months and she only was coming for a week.

We sorted it out in the end, but I think both these stories really highlight how broken the system is. My brothers wife is bloody married to an Australian, how dumb is that!

Chris Evans, Where the bloody hell are you? sigh

Friday, January 09, 2009

CFLOCK type="parallel"

Just been doing some image conversion and I have used cflock type=exclusive to avoid swamping the server, however, it occurred to me that this would be a nice addition to support parallel processing, defaulting to say the number of cores on the machine.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Israel and it's WMD Style spin on Gaza, Obama MIA

As we watch the last days of the Bush Administration, the world is breathing a sigh of relief. The problem is that Israel has adopted the terrible spin approach used by the neo-cons in it's war in Gaza.

The media campaign by Israel has video of oxygen tanks being loaded into a truck being mispresented as rockets, de-ja-vu Iraq and WMD...

Propaganda war: trusting what we see?

and the methodology about the casualties is also totally flawed

UN count of civilians killed in Gaza excluded all dead men

This is outrageous behaviour on behalf of Israel and Obama cannot continue his silence.

Obama needs to rebuke Israel (and it's use of the current Administration flawed spin), which is difficult and obviously given that Bush is almost out of the White House, unfortunate timing, but many, many lives are being lost.

Shame on Israel, I can really understand their situation, having rockets landing everyday in their towns is an outrage, unfortunately, they have overstepped the mark completely and now have lost most of their credibility with their actions in Gaza.

Kevin Rudd has been MIA on this as well, the Federal Opposition is going to have it's hand tied somewhat having Helen Coonan as the Shadow Foreign Affairs, given her seat lies in the heart of Melbourne's Jewish Community.

It's one thing to complain about wars whilst in Opposition, it's entirely different when a war is happening now and lives are being shattered and your now the (almost) the government.

The world is waiting for some leadership on this issue, time and time again the international community sits on it's hands whilst people are being killed.

Once again the UN Security Council shows itself to be impotent, isn't Democracy based around majority opinion, which is achievable? rather than this unachievable unanimous opinion...

That said, Hamas does appear to be acting as a terrorist organisation, with a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to the allegations of war crimes against Israel.

In the end we are all losing on this one, some more than others