The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Pre-emptive Al Gore is Fat Blog Strike

Al Gore will be visiting Melbourne next month to address Safe Climate Australia on his plan to switch the US economy to clean energy in 10 years. Expect a flurry of outraged indignation from the usual suspects claiming that there is no such thing as human-produced-CO2-induced climate change because Al Gore is fat and a hypocrite for flying here in a jumbo jet to speak to rent-seeking totalitarian greens who want to destroy civilisation and eat your babies. What to speak of the fact that Safe Climate Australia will be charging exorbitant admission prices so only elitists can attend.

You heard it here first.

Filed under: Blogging, Environment, Wingnuttery, ,

Marohasy pwned on ‘Climate Change Delusion’

Jennifer's press photoJennifer Marohasy’s blog yesterday reported on a 17 year old male inpatient admitted to the Psychiatric Unit of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. With an 8 month history of depression, the boy ‘had visions of apocolyptic events’ and had ‘developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies.’

Co-contributor Paul Biggs, who works in medical research at Birmingham University, was responsible for the post and suggested that ‘psychiatrists are treating a 17-year-old tipped over the edge by global warming fearmongers?’

I happened to be the first to comment (what else are you going to do on a wintry day during school holidays?):

Well Jennifer – this takes the cake and sets a new low for even your blog’s standards. Clearly, the 17 year old was suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Paul would have us believe that this boy’s condition was brought on by ‘global warming fearmongers’.

I’m convinced.

Of course, I was immediately taken to task for my lack of evidence about the boy’s diagnosis and for being a deluded global warming alarmist, and in manner typical of the comment threads at this site, the discussion went off all over the place.

I was challenged by one commenter as to whether I’d read the actual journal article and he ‘kindly’ provided the link. The article was a ‘pay-per-view’ which I wasn’t about to cough up for. Turns out the challenging commenter hadn’t read it either. Never mind that my objection was about the scurrilous and unscientific manner in which this story was being being used to score a cheap cynical point, not the content of the journal article.

Despite being asked, Paul didn’t post the text of the article. Eventually another commenter provided the full text which allowed me a final comment on the whole hilarious saga:

“The final diagnosis was major depressive disorder with psychotic features. ”

So the boy was having a psychotic episode…

“This case provides another fascinating illustration of the cultural and environmental specificity of manifestations of psychosis.”

And the ‘climate change delusion’ was a manifestation of the psychosis with nary a mention of causality or suggestion of a mechanism by which the psychosis resulted from being ‘tipped over the edge by global warming fearmongers?’

See first comment. QED.

It’s very rare to score a point on these kind of blogs, so in a self-congratulatory kind of way I thought I’d share the moment here.

As resident environmental skeptic for the IPA, Jennifer values ‘evidence-based’ science. In the case of Paul Biggs, she may want to exercise a little more editorial rigour. Otherwise her blog is slowly but surely descending into the realms of Bolt and Blair, complete with a handful of loyal and faithful rabid winged monkeys.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Blogging, ,

Bolt explained

Changa’s Boots, at the new Possum Box offers insight into why Andrew Bolt and his ilk do what they do:

[The Right]…“know that by playing to their base in very well-crafted ways, they can shift the very definition of what the middle is. By introducing radicalism into the public discourse (and taking initial heat for it), whatever used to be radical within this context becomes moderate by comparison.”

Australian attack bloggers and the Overton Window « The Possum Box

And here I was wondering whether an otherwise intelligent, educated person (I’m giving Bolt the benefit of doubt), pouring out a relentless excrescence of dishonest and disingenuous drivel for the purpose of cultivating ignorance, prejudice, intolerance and misinformation could have some qualms about his fundamental lack of moral, intellectual and ethical integrity.

Oh wait…

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Filed under: Big Picture, Blogging, Howardians, Ideology, Media, Pseudoscience, Wingnuttery, , ,

Everybody must get Flocked

Hey you gotta check out Flock. It’s maintained on Firefox core (check out the 2.0 beta – based on FF3 which comes out tomorrow) so it’s great browser technology – but the added social networking functionality is inspired and quite awesome. I hereby declare Flock to be the first truly Web 2.0 browser. It’s my default browser after an hour of playing with it.

It has some serious smarts. It learns what you do and provides seemless integration of active content into your personalised web space. Active feeds provide status info from social networks such as Facebook, Flickr, as well as media feeds such as YouTube, webmail, blogs, news and tagging services. Flock senses if any page has xml dynamic content and will light up a feed icon. The status bar lets you know if you have mail, changes in friend status etc. Pretty cool. And if that’s not enough it has a web clipboard sidebar where you can drag and drop snippets of stuff wherever you find it. A smart scrapbook.

Firefox on steroids and Es!

Indeed this WordPress post was composed using Flock’s blog editor. Select some text from another site, right mouse click, select blog it, and it pastes blockquoted text with an auto-citation at the bottom. That’s cool.

People use the Web
today in extremely different ways than they did a decade ago. However,
web browsers – the application at the center of all that we do online –
has not kept pace with these changes in online behavior.Flock was
founded on the vision that the web browser can and should enable the
richest user experience possible across information-gathering, sharing,
communication, self-expression and interaction.Every individual has
their own unique preference for favorite sites, utilities, media and
friends. Flock’s philosophy is to deliver a more personal experience of
the web, where its users are in control and more connected to what they
value. Flock is committed to working with our vibrant community and
best of breed partners to allow users to be everywhere they care about,
from one single place.Flock’s vision reaches far beyond the currently
available version of our browser. As the Web continues to evolve, Flock
believes that an important opportunity exists to push the boundaries of
browser innovation. We will continue to be champions of open-standards,
and strive to continually deliver unique, innovative and meaningful
user experiences made possible only from within the browser.Flock was
founded in 2005. The company is based in Redwood City, CA, and has an
office in Victoria, British Columbia. The company is funded by Bessemer
Venture Partner, Shasta Ventures, Catamount Ventures and prominent
angel investors. Flock is made up of a passionate team of
industry-leading innovators, including world-class developers with
expertise in browser development.Flock is an open source company that
innovates on the superior, constantly-improving Mozilla architecture to
provide a fast, safe and competitive browsing experience.

Flock Browser – Company Info | Flock

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Filed under: Blogging, Internet, , , , ,

Computer says…No!

Third time lucky. Well so they say. Let’s hope so. A handful of sites I’ve built have been rendered useless by the major trials and tribulations of MDWebhosting. First, it was Russian cross-spripting hackers or something, and then on February 9 they had a major power malfunction which fried the power supply grid and then proceeded to cook the servers.

The perils of the webhosting business where punters want increasing amounts of more for less. In some cases corners get cut and uptime disasters occur. I wish MDWebhosting well, but I’ve had to move on in order to rebuild all my sites. Jumba is my new host. The only complaint I’ve had is that support service can be a bit slow, but hopefully that’s only because of the flood of MD Refugees pouring in and going nuts now that something’s working again and the first month is half price. Yay!

Now all I got to do is fix the darn thing.

Filed under: Blogging, Internet, Technology

Microsoft Word is bloggy evil

MS Word is a great application for writing and editing but when it comes to pasting your latest masterpiece into your blog it will add in all kinds of hidden Microsoft tags and code that can play havoc with formatting RSS feeds. Some blogging platfoms such as WordPress have advanced editing options such as ‘Paste from Word’ which will remove these mutant gremlins.

For example, while cleaning up a feed item I found this <span class=”blsp-spelling-error” id=”SPELLING_ERROR_4″>. WTF? Apparently it’s no longer sufficient to identify possible spelling errors – MS wants evidence stored within the document. Another favorite is <span style=”font-family:trebuchet ms;”>. HTML has default font-settings and hardly benefits from MS requiring the use of a Windows font. Word adds a bewildering amount of MS-specific HTML tags such that 1Kb of text content can turn into 100Kb of superfluous padding, just in case it might come in handy. As any web developer will tell you, MS has its own take on HTML and CSS standards which adds to the cost of creating and maintaining web sites.

A couple of years ago I experimented with my new Nokia mobile’s Bluetooth feature to talk to my Windows XP laptop. As you would know, Bluetooth is a universal communication protocol. Only problem is that MS XP Bluetooth driver was incompatible with Nokia. Again, WTF??

Partly it is a result of MS always seeking commercial advantage by locking consumers into only being able to use MS products, and also from what I regard as MS’s design priority of being all things to all people under all circumstances – which manifests as a typically American desire to be overly helpful. ‘You look like you’re trying to do this, but that can’t possibly be correct. MS thinks you’re trying to something else, so we’ll do that for you instead!’

At school, my Ubuntu webserver completes system updates in around 45 seconds without any need to reboot. Our Windows 2003 Servers can take around 10 minutes to complete updates and almost always requires a system reboot which can take up to 20 minutes while they ‘establish network connections’. What the hell is it doing all that time?? I imagine that the OS is examining all 300 possible scenarios of what you might be wanting to do – setting up conferences between 528 dlls which then proceed to discuss, negotiate and arrive at a consensus before agreeing to connect to the router!

I’ve been a big fan of The Evil Empire over many years – without Microsoft’s monopolistic stranglehold on the the world of computing creating consistent design standards for developers we would not have advanced to where we are now. But MS has outlived its usefulness and I suspect it will gradually become just a marginal corporate player over the next decade in the way that IBM did after being synonymous with computing back in the 70s. The way of the future lies with open source and web distributed applications. I watch the development of the open source Google Phone application platform with interest.

I would even argue that there are sound economic and environmental reasons in support of open source computing platforms. An adequately provisioned Windows Vista PC requires a more powerful CPU, greater RAM, and power to run it all – all at greater economic and environmental cost. For ordinary computing purposes a three year old PC running Linux and web apps will out-perform the latest Vista equipped PC.

The State of Victoria spends countless $millions on Microsoft products and tech support to keep them up to date and running. In my own work environment, at least 30 percent of our tech support is spent on dealing with Microsoft issues – the frustrating kind where everything is setup how it should be, but it still doesn’t work properly because the MS behemoth has other ideas like shutting down your wireless service because you haven’t used it for 20 minutes or repeatedly changing your proxy settings, etc, etc, etc.

I think the French had the right idea some years back when they eschewed Microsoft in the public sector in favour of open source. Bring it on.

Filed under: Blogging, Technology

Blogotariat Federal Election coverage

Now that Bryan has restored his Ozpolitics blog feed service I’ve reposted from Sunday to let people know that Blogotariat provides another way to keep those political blog posts rolling into your web browser.

I’ve whiled away some hours today creating a special Federal Election Coverage layout for Blogotariat which will feature the most recent commentary links, best of commentary posts, and some kind of ‘daily’ editorial roundup.

If you wish to help out with the editorial roundups please let me know – you can have your own assigned day/s to post an overview of the day’s highlights and lowlights.

Filed under: Blogging, Federal Election 2007

Blogotariat launched – Ozblog news commentary

BlogotariatBlogotariat is designed to be a useful and productive addition to the Australian blogosphere in the interests of advancing the growing volume of quality current affairs commentary in Ozblogistan. Collaborative web communities are a great source of information and ideas – the problem is accessing the wealth of material out there. It needs good design – both of data handling and web presentation. Blogotariat is an attempt to fill the gap.

For the moment, Blogotariat will be mostly news feed aggregation, but with intelligent taxonomic ordering. It will be easy to see what people have written over the last two weeks on Religion, Ass-hattery or Wingnuttery for example. In time, an editorial crew would be good, to value add with op-eds and a weekly round-up – a weekend edition if you like.

I have started Blogotariat as a platform to enhance the role of blog commentary and its growing influence on Mainstream Media and the political process – the great contest of ideas essential to a civil society. If it grows I’ll figure out how to fund it as needs arise.

Filed under: Blogging, Media

Where is Bryan’s OzPolitics?

OzPolitics has been off the air for more than a day now, no doubt missed by his many devout polblog readers. I, for one, am suffering withdrawal pangs.

Sorry..!

The web site you’ve requested is not available at this time. If you are the account owner, please contact your hosting service provider for further information and assistance.

This is the message from the rather ominous looking URL http://nudge.jumba.net.au/suspended.page/

With the MSM taking a beating over the last week or so from blogs for range and depth of critical commentary on the accelerated unravelling of the federal government, has the evil hand of HowardCo shut him down? I’m sure it’s just a server/hosting issue but any news would be welcome.

Filed under: Blogging

News censors Blogocracy?

While browsing through Bryan’s OzPolitics feeds I was intrigued to find that the link to Tim Dunlop’s article The Australian versus the blogosphere at News.com comes up empty. The cached link at OzPolitics comes up with Error 404 – Not Found. Have the News editorial staff pulled the article as part of its unprecedented attack on the Australian blogosphere for daring to point out that Dennis Shanahan is a partisan hack? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Blogging, Economics, Media, Politics

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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