Archives For fail

And this time it doesn’t come from someone called Tony

Hate site targets Trinity’s accused killer

Queensland police are monitoring a social networking site set up to vilify a man charged with the murder of eight-year-old Trinity Bates from Bundaberg.

Except it’s not a social networking site that has been set up, it’s a Facebook group. But wait, later in the article

Within an hour of Slater’s court appearance, more than 300 members had joined the Facebook group.

It’s one thing to completely fuck up web 101 terminology, but it takes a specially inept sort of reporter to contradict herself in the same article 🙂

Of note: it’s a bit of a beat up to begin with. The Facebook group is here. It’s basically people talking about capital punishment for child killers, and a couple of nasty words…the same sort of stuff you’d hear after something like this on say…well…ABC Local Radio 🙂

Want to see real racism?

January 11, 2010

This is from a show in the United States called “The Young Turks” on the so called “racist” KFC ad.

According to the guy in the show, the ad is “stereotypical…pushing a stereotype. When I’m thinking race or something…they’re trying to make the target look bad or worse than they actually are…which it does. With a superior race over it….here this drum beat and dance to it, you give them chicken and they become all civilised. This white guy is so civilised, sitting in his own seat…these black folks, a woman putting her but in her face.”

The girl chimes in: “they’re so unruly, uncivilised, so rowdy, jumping up and don, and they can’t sit down unless you give then fried chicken.”

The one problem: both are being racist themselves in presuming that their culture is superior to those from the West Indies. There’s nothing stereotypical in the ad: having both been to Australian vs West Indies games before, and even working many years ago for the WACA, I’ve seen exactly first hand how West Indies fans behave.

So are they saying the way the fans from the West Indies behave is wrong? Because Australians don’t see it as being wrong; quite the opposite, in the cricketing world the West Indies fans are well loved and appreciated because they are so passionate and good fun.

You see, when you criticise other cultures, calling other people “uncivilised,” (like the girl did in the video), you’re the one being racist. I wonder how the Windies fans feel about being called uncivilsed by Americans, and at least one white one at that?

For the record, some archival footage of real West Indies fans in action.

No, that’s the caste system isn’t it?

Still, given what happened in Australia during the Schapelle Corby arrest and trial, we’re not exactly innocent when it comes to xenophobia.

The Advertiser: Two detained at airport over Singh murder

POLICE are refusing to reveal the identities of a man and a woman intercepted at Sydney Airport last week and questioned over the murder of Indian-born fruit picker Ranjodh Singh.
The Indian-born pair, believed to be seasonal workers from Griffith, was stopped at the airport’s departure lounge on Monday as they were about to board a flight to Nepal.

Then of course there’s fire guy “It is understood police are investigating all possible causes of the fire, including that Mr Singh lit the fire himself.”

Is it racist to set yourself on fire?

hong kong best food

The suburb we moved to just over a month ago borders Box Hill, the center of the Chinese community in Melbourne. Box Hill is our local shopping center, and its 3 minutes in the car. I love it: parts of it remind me of Hong Kong: a magically fascinating range of shops you don’t get other places, a big food market selling anything and everything, and a ton of interesting Chinese restaurants.

Since we moved here we’ve been slowly visiting different restaurants…well, and one we’ve been to before and loved: Indochine, a Vietnamese restaurant that offers great food, happy and quick service, at really cheap prices.

Friday night we decided to try Hong Kong Best Food. A sure sign of a good Chinese restaurant is that it’s always full with Chinese people, and this fit the bill.

We had to wait 5 minutes for a table, which was fine, and were seated at around 6:50pm. That’s when the fun began.

The first thing we were asked is whether we wanted chopsticks or not. It’s an odd question given every other Asian restaurant I’ve been to just gives you the chopsticks and if you want a fork you ask for it. We thought nothing of the question then, and it seems innocent enough by itself (despite the fact it presumes we couldn’t use chopsticks)… until what happen next.

So we order and then wait….and wait…and wait. We watch people enter the restaurant, order, and get their food with a wait no longer than 5 minutes, often quicker. People who entered Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill at 7:15pm had eaten and left before we had our food, which finally arrived just after 7:30pm. It probably goes without saying at this point that those entering the restaurant were exclusively Chinese, and we were the only white people in the place.

The food wasn’t good, indeed had we not wanted to make a scene, we could have sent at least one dish back, because the meat was undercooked…which is even more interesting given how long we waited for it.

We paid the bill and left.

My wife, who would normally be the last person in this world to note racism like this said to me that we’d been racially profiled, and that the service was intentional so that we wouldn’t return again. I have to say I 100% agree.

So my Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill Review: probably a great place to dine, as long as you’re not white.

I’ll be investigating the racial discrimination laws this week to see if there is any way to complain as well. I don’t support racism from white people on others, but likewise I don’t support it happening in reverse either, and there can be no other explanation for our treatment by Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill.


John Hartigan, CEO of News Ltd in a speech July 1 talking about the decline of newspapers

I mean, at its most basic, it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s just bad reporting. There?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s almost no evidence.
For starters, newspaper ad revenue in Australia has been growing ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú not declining over the past 5 years as it has in the US and the UK.
Even in the past year, the decline in ad revenue in Australia is a fraction of what?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s been happening overseas.

ABC’s AM this morning (August 6)

Now this slump in profits comes mainly because of plunging revenue, particularly in the newspaper industry. Rupert Murdoch says his papers in Australia have endured a 30 per cent slump in classified ads and a 12 per cent drop in display ads in the fourth quarter, and that’s thanks mainly to a drop-off in car and real estate and employment advertisements, Tony.

Take away question: did Hartigan deceive the market July 1? That’s a fairly significant fall, perhaps not as hard as the US, but likewise you couldn’t describe it fairly as a fraction either.

Fourth Geelong student commits suicide:

Suicide is a terrible business, but it’s not helped by quoting mentally deficient adults in newspapers either.

The opening paragraph…and the sub-headline used on the front page of reads

A GRIEVING mother has blamed the internet for the death of her 14-year-old daughter.

Yes, the internet KILLED her daughter! It reached out and grabbed her, causing her to kill herself…or something like that. But wait…

I want to tell people to keep their kids off the rotten internet, it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a horrible place,?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ she told the Geelong Advertiser.

?¢‚Ǩ?ìI can guarantee you that if she didn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t go on the internet on Friday night she?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢d still be alive today.”

Yes, the internet is to blame clearly. But here’s where we pull out some more details. You see, we’re actually talking about a case of school bullying, backed up with cyberbullying (despite what the article says, the two are rarely not linked.) As for the person who was bullying her child? We’ll clearly she’s not to blame…

?¢‚Ǩ?ìI don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t blame the girl either, these are just kids throwing comments at each other for God?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s sake, but she (Chanelle) obviously could not see past what was going to be done to her,” she said.

Yes, you see it wasn’t the bullying that caused the suicide….it was the internet! And it wasn’t related to this…no….

She said Chanelle was having trouble with some friends from school, but it was a minor issue that had not changed her mood at all.

Now remember how she was having a minor issue at school?

?¢‚Ǩ?ìWhen you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re 14 years old, who knows, if you don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t think you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ve got any friends ?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ maybe that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s not worth living and obviously it wasn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t for her


So lets get this straight: the child was being severely bullied at school, the mother considers it a minor issue, ignores it, the child kills herself, and the mother blames the internet and not the child or children that drove her daughter to commit suicide to begin with.

You know if I had a parent that dumb I might consider ending it all as well. It’s also cheap fodder for News Ltd to be publishing that does nothing to help in the fight against teen suicide…indeed publishing this crap actually causes more damage by perpetrating bullshit reasoning for teen suicide while all but ignoring the real reason behind the loss of this girl.

I was on The Age website today reading an unrelated matter, and I saw an internal site promo for iPhone pricing details (note is was in a group of content related internal ads, and isn’t an ad for an external site)


So I clicked through, and ended up on this page which reports on price drops by Optus and Virgin (note Virgin is a fully owned subsidiary of Singtel Optus.)

iPhone 3G 16GB (Current Model) Price Drop - The Age

Then I scrolled down the page….and I found this

iPhone 3G 16GB (Current Model) Price Drop - The Age

Note the circled bit. The first three results are for Optus iPhones, the 4th is a Virgin Mobile deal, and the 5th is a Telstra iPhone (after that point it seems to switch between the three in the top 20.)

But look at the Telstra mobile result (circled bit)

iPhone 3G 16GB (Current Model) Price Drop - The Age

No telephone number… but the Optus result does.

Clicking through the link takes you to a more detailed page about the phone.

Here’s the contact details on the Telstra iPhone pages

Telstra Mobile $30 'Phone' Plan Mobile Phone Plan   Apple iPhone 16GB (3G) - The Age

Yet here’s the similar page for an Optus iPhone

Optus $59 iPhone Cap Mobile Phone Plan   Apple iPhone 16GB (3G) - The Age

But it’s not a one off: all the Singtel companies get a full sales spiel, Telstra doesn’t. Here’s the Virgin spiel:

Virgin Mobile $45 Your Cap Mobile Phone Plan   Apple iPhone 16GB (3G) Deal - The Age

Now I don’t disagree that Optus phones offer better value; Telstra’s deals are blue murder, and I’m surprised they even featured once in the top five. But there’s also clearly a commercial relationship between the editorial and Singtel, because the Optus/ Virgin phones get extra details, and I’m sure Fairfax hasn’t offered that out of the goodness of their heart.

But here’s where it gets dodgy, because out of the full top 20 list (or out to 22 in an extended view) the number of Vodaphone iPhone deals mentioned is 0.

If this was actually fair consumer advice, there would absolutely have to be a Vodafone iPhone listed there somewhere, and although I’m not a Vodafone customer (I’m with Optus) I’ve seen their plans and they’re competitive with Optus, and leave Telstra’s plans for dead.

So why have they been excluded? Could Telstra have been included sans contact details because they are an occasional Fairfax advertiser (the Bigpond page takeovers a couple of months back come to mind) and Vodafone isn’t?

Either way: this would appear to be advertising content masquerading as editorial consumer advice with zero disclosure from Fairfax.

Update: just noticed that although Vodafone’s logo is offered as an option in “filter mobile plans by carrier” you get this result


Follow up to this Apple fail post: Leopard 10.5.7 causes freezing, overheating issues

I haven’t completely stopped my Macbook Pro from freezing, but I have all but (least it has happened only once since I worked out what might be happening.)

Write this on all over the Apple forums: it was Safari that did it.

Well, I fib a bit, because I suspect that it’s not Safari alone but multitasking full stop, but it’s clear that Safari causes the most issues.

If I have Firefox and Safari open at the same time (which I usually do), the computer freezes. If I have Safari open alone the computer freezes (but not as quickly), if I have Firefox open alone….nothing happens (although it did freeze once in maybe 2-3 hours.

The key indicator is that when Safari is open, the computer starts to heat up, and by that I mean from 38 to over 60 C in the space of minutes (and with fans at various settings, I’ve tried them all.) Firefox doesn’t cause the heat spike.

Go figure. Either way: Apple, please hurry up and fix this.

I quit the weekly column at Crikey today, and they chose not to publish the last one. Why let it go to waste though.

The stories that I cut before submitting (and are not below) were a Huffington Post internship selling for $13k, a new round for BlogHer, and a piece asking why The Gruen Transfer crippled embedding on the fat pride ad. Note the copy isn’t final proof.

Not doing the column frees up a decent chunk of Thursday afternoons, and some of Friday morning. Hopefully I can use that time more constructively to add to The Inquisitr’s traffic and content.

This Week in Geek: the unpublished and final edition.

Apocalypse Now: The nearly unthinkable happened overnight when Google went down at 12:48am Friday Australian Eastern. The outage affected Google services including Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google News, Blogger, Google Analytics and Google Docs. There are also reports that the outage affected Google Ad Manager and Google Adsense, resulting in blank spaces on sites running Google served ads.

Google claims in a post titled ?¢‚Ǩ?ìThis is your pilot speaking. Now, about that holding pattern…?¢‚Ǩ¬ù that problem was caused by a flight from New York to San Francisco diverting to Asia… at least that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s the analogy they used. The more technical version is that a significant chunk of traffic to Google was routed via Asia due to an error somewhere in the Google chain of server farms, causing ?¢‚Ǩ?ìslow services or interruptions.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

Services would appear to be back to normal, although Google users were reporting problems many hours after the issue first emerged.

More blogs on the Kindle. Amazon has opened its Kindle Blog Publishing Program to all blogs after running only a select few since their Kindle e-book reader first launched. The program offers paid blog subscriptions to Kindle users, complete with custom Kindle formating. Amazon takes a 70% cut of the usual $1.99 monthly subscription price. Existing blogs in the program have reported that the earnings are pocket change, and Kindle users can still read blogs directly and for free through the Kindle?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s web browser.

Craigslist rolls over on erotic ads. After weeks of pressure from US law enforcement officials, Craigslist has decided to remove their erotic services section and monitor adult services posts. The erotic service section on Criagslist had become a favored advertising outlet for prostitution, an occupation that is weirdly still illegal in the United States.

Posts to the Adult Services category will cost US$10, and will be reviewed prior to publication by Craigslist staff. A full copy of the Craigslist statement here

Pipe dreams. For years now the promise of WiMax and 4G networks has been nothing more than a pipe dream, as opposed to the physical pipe dream of the National Broadband Network (NBN) which was not properly funded in the budget (link Stilgherian budget coverage). One argument against the NBN has been the future availability of next generation wireless networks negating the need to lay fiber, but that?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a promise that has been made about WiMax and 4G for years, and still we wait.

WiMax and 4G networks won?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t be available tomorrow, but they might not be far away. In the United States, Cisco as been appointed to supply equipment for Clearwire?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s WiMax network, and Verizon (a major US mobile carrier) has started offering briefs for LTE (Long Term Evolution), the 4G technology that Verizon and AT&T will be using in their next generation mobile phones. These services offer data speeds comparable to the NBN in its current specifications, and cost far less to implement.

If only it was permanent. Vodafone in the UK has announced it is abolishing roaming fees for its mobile phone customers in the 45 countries it operates. The offer will allow users across Vodafone?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s international network to make calls or use SMS at regular call rates.

International call rates will be applied where applicable, for example calling the UK from France would attract the international call rate, but calling a local number in France if you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re visiting France would be charged at the local rate. Notably neither would attract a roaming charge, make calls significantly cheaper. The offer has also been extended to receiving calls, so receiving a call outside the UK on the network is free.

Sadly the deal is only a limited time offer and available from June 1 to the end of August. No word on whether it will be extended to Australian Vodafone customers, but don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t count on it.

The European Union voted in April to impose strict fee caps on roaming charges within the EU from July 1, after finding the current rates were a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìrip-off.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

Take me to the stars. Google has launched Sky Map, a new application for their Android mobile operating system that allows users to identify the stars they are looking at. Using GPS and a built in compass, users point their mobile phone in the direction of the stars they are looking at, and the phone matches the stars. Link

Qantas Fail

April 20, 2009

SMH: Save Qantas from unfair practices, unions urge

QANTAS needs saving from “unfair competition” from foreign government-backed airlines to protect Australian jobs, the ACTU will argue today when it meets the airline over its decision last week to axe up to 1750 jobs.

Yes, but who saves us from Qantas extortion on routes without enough competition?

Or are the Union’s really suggesting that the Qantas, who given they’re suppose to be going into the red at the moment because they couldn’t organize an orgy in a brothel efficiently, should be allowed to charge more? That ordinary Australian’s, including union members, should pay more for their airfares?

Interesting tactic from the Union movement: argue that people should pay more when many Qantas routes are already excessively expensive.

Here’s the one thing that is a worry: if Qantas is as badly off as it seemingly might be, will the Government be bailing them out? Too big to fail?

More importantly: how could Qantas, who has long price gouged on routes like the Pacific, have managed to get into this mess in the first place? What, a cosy duopoly domestically isn’t enough for them?