Month: August 2007

Are you part of the disease? Or part of …

Alright, we just got back from the Cure concert over at the handily located Vector Arena – maybe 10 or 12 minutes walk from our apartment. 20 minutes if you add in a side-trip to the supermarket to purchase FORBIDDEN SNACKS which we then HID in the hidden compartment in Annettes handbag. Which, by the way, security at the door FOUND and turned us away. So we sneakily .. and pay attention to the detail of this particular caper, as it’s a bit Oceans 11 in it’s sneakiness … took the food out of Annettes handbag and PUT IN IN MY JACKET POCKET which they didn’t check as they were only checking bags. Good thing no ordinary human could store foodstuffs in a pocket!

Anyway, inside with our ILLICIT FOODS we enjoyed the minstrel-ry of Mr Bob Smith and his Merry Band of Misc Other Guys. It was pretty good – musically VERY tight, though freakin’ loud. Next time, earplugs. The Vector Arena is LOUD. It was also .. LONG. Really long. Hours. 3 or 4 encores. And they played a LOT of stuff – I’m a fan, and I didn’t recognise much of what was being played. It was a three-hour gig and could, to be honest, have been edited down by an hour easily.

There was also a hilarious disconnect between Mr Smith and the audience. For the first 5 or 6 songs they’d just play a song, Bob would say “Thankyou!” .. and they’d launch into the next song. It got to the point where I was laughing each time he did it. There was certainly no “Hello Auckland!” or “Auckland is the rocking-est place we visit!” or any of that sort of thing. Just music, thankyou, music, repeat.

They _didn’t_ play Love Cats, which I was expecting. But they _did_ play A Forest, which I was not. So at least there is symmetry.

So wrong

One of my newsfeeds just flashed up a headline along the lines of “NZ has free broadband again!” which, naturally, caught my eye. “Someone is doomed.” I thought to myself.

But, of course, I was wrong. And so was the headline. Here is the article in question – if you read it, you’ll see that what you actually get is free broadband from Vodafone-owned Ihug .. IF you change your landline rental over to Ihug AND pay them $20/month in prepaid toll charges AND most telling of all, this free plan has a data cap of 1GB/month. Presumably after you use that up, you start paying.

You know how when you go to the supermarket, they sometimes have, say, a friendly person with a tray offering you a little bit of sausage roll, or cheese, or chorizo sausage? And it’s free? And if you like it, you go buy some, because that little bit of sausage is just enough to whet your appetite.

Well, Vodadfone is offering “free” broadband the same way that Foodtown is offering “free” chorizo fucking sausage.

1GB/month is just enough to go “Why yes, I pretty much AM connected to the internet in some manner” before the cap runs out and you start paying.


Jihad So Laggy Right Now

From this article in The Australian:

“Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qa’ida, says …[Terrorists] are rehearsing their operations in Second Life because they don’t have the opportunity to rehearse in the real world,” Gunaratna says. “And unless governments improve their technical capabilities on a par with the terrorists’ access to globalisation tools like the internet and Second Life, they will not be able to monitor what is happening in the terrorist world.”

“Kevin Zuccato, head of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre in Canberra, says terrorists can gain training in games such as World of Warcraft in a simulated environment, using weapons that are identical to real-world armaments.”

I can only hope that Rohan Gunaratna and Kevin Zuccato are being so misquoted by The Australian that they have grounds to sue, because in my opinion the only other possibility is that they are smoking the crack.

My mind reels at the concept of a terrorist attacked planned and trialled and perfected in Second Life.

“Quickly, Ahmed! We must strike at the Great Satan NOW! You put on your anthropomorphic fox avatar, and I’ll wear my Sailor Moon outfit! Don’t forget to res up your largest weapon and let us pray to Allah that the American Pig Dogs have Push Damage enabled on their land!”

“After we strike, I will escape in my 50m long flying hot dog, you leave in the opposite direction via Lightcycle! Don’t forget, if the Americans use a cage trap weapon, in Allahs name, Teleport back to base and I’ll meet you there!”

And as for Kevin Zuccato … Terrorists training in WoW? Is Al Queda training to raid Onyxia the Dragon now?

“Ahmed! I cannot believe you pulled that add! In the name of Allah, control your aggro! Minus Fifty Infidel Kill Points!”

And using weapons identical to real-world armaments? My Druid main in WoW has A Splintering Greatstaff of the Beast that increases his Attack Power by over 300 points while he’s in Cat, Bear, Dire Bear and Moonkin forms. If that kind of tech is now in the hands of Al Queda, then frankly, I lay the blame squarely at the door of the international intelligence community.

I can MAYBE see people training in something like small squad tactics, using a game like the Call of Duty series. Maybe. But SL and WoW? Not so much.

First furries and gankers, and now Al Queda. I may go back to playing Starcraft.


When I was younger (like, 1999 or so) I used to watch Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson was tres cool, and that James May guy was a dork. However, nowadays James May is the coolest guy on Television .. laconic, relaxed, nothing to prove, secure in himself. A gentle man, and a gentleman.

Amazing how the world changes as I get older. Food has gone from Ick to Delicious, while staying the same item of food. My parents have somehow stopped talking crap, while still saying the same things. And Jeremy Clarkson has become rather oafish .. while still being the same old Jeremy Clarkson.