Month: May 2011

An Elmorite bites back – at last

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Well it seems that at last someone has challenged me on the whole elmore thing. See previous articles here, herehere and here. This correspondent seemed to think putting me down was the way to make his point. So as is my prerogative, here’s a point by point review of his letter: Read the rest of this entry »


Hackers taking a bite out of Apple

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I am prone to having spirited discussions with Apple accolytes regarding the (supposed) benefits of Apple products – you know who you are (DT)!

Yes, I know how smart the equipment looks – whether ipad, Macbook or iPhone, but, to me, that’s where the appeal starts and ends. For any of those devices, I could show you equal or better performance at lower cost.

The appeal of paying (significantly) over the odds to be locked into a platform has never been clear to me. This ‘pay more for less’ mindset has become all-pervasive, and we even have that usually reliable newspaper, The Age, sporting successive articles (or rather advertorials) about how the white iPhone is soon to be available in Australia. Really? OMG! Be still my beating heart, and, where does the queue form?

Don’t get me started.

If you’ve ever tried to get your music off your ipod, if only to back it up, then you know what I mean about lock-in. You need to resort to lots of web-surfing, and installing third party products, the developers of which are often threatened by Apple to cease and desist. And the design ‘feature’ of leaving off a USB connector from the iPad is just plain bloody-minded.

Should I also mention the mine-field that is having multiple ipods using one computer for a repository? It is so easy to screw up music databases that one would think mighty Apple didn’t really give a toss.

The biggest zinger in the accolytes’ arsenal has historically been how their beloved products are immune to viruses or other malicious attacks. This latest article just underlines how this has all been Apple-spin for marketing purposes. Apple computers have always been susceptible to viruses – it’s just that very few of the mischief-makers have bothered – till now. You see, there hasn’t been the immediate impact and payback that hackers seek – no instant gratification. But now, as numbers grow, there’s something in it for them.

As I said, don’t get me started.

And in case you’re itching to flame me over this little anti-Apple spray – please don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the technology as such – it’s nice, it’s shiny, it works, mostly. It’s just not superior.

Anyone still out there?

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Given that the world was going to end, I thought that there was no point in blogging, although that would give me a perfect excuse for a low readership.

Anyway, I’m still here, and so are you it seems.

That international nut-job, Harold Camping, was desperately egging on the end of his world, but yet again, it didn’t happen. But, of course, I’m sure he didn’t think it would. He’s just another “Jesus=Money” phoney, who’s been in the god industry for decades.

His website has now counted down to zero, and one has to ask, why bother keeping the page up? Or is there no-one left at lunacy-central to take it down?

On one hand, the whole notion is hilarious – the page proudly proclaims “Judgement Day, May 21 2011“, followed by a beautiful piece of advertising copy “the Bible guarantees it!“, as if we needed to be sold on the idea.

On the other hand idiots like this are greedy, bigoted, and clearly unhinged, and should be held to account for the outcomes of their preaching, as in these cases here, here and here.

I’ve had spirited exchanges before on this blog (see the whole Kim Tinkham thing early on) on how charismatic individuals can influence others to do stupid things. I contend that we are far from perfect, and are prone to due stupid things, some of us more than others, and that people who prey on this weakness should be held to account. My critics will argue that ‘we are all adults and have choices’. Well, this is another perfect example of how certain individuals can influence others; others who are ready and willing to be influenced. I am in no doubt that people like Harold Camping should be held to account.

I suspect that if I were to perpetuate a similar hoax, I’d be in trouble with the law for the mayhem that would ensue. But, once again, religion is being used as a shield – providing the perfect cover to do stupid and irrational things without being answerable to anyone.

So, we are still here. Life goes on.

A word of advice to disappointed rapturites – stop worrying about the next life and the after-life, and start making the most of this one. You can spend years of precious life counting down to oblivion, handing over your money to every charlatan that comes along, and one-way chats with improbable beings, or, you can live each day as it comes, spend any surplus resources you have on people who need help, and chat instead with friends, family and even foes.

Is rationality a good idea?

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The many millions of readers of this blog (insert derisive laughter made famous by the robot from Lost in Space) will guess that I would answer firmly in the affirmative on this question.

However, if one is rational, then one will be open to hearing the case for the negative. Read the rest of this entry »

The heat’s on Access Ministries – at last

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It seems that Access Ministries is now firmly in the limelight, having been in lead stories on the TV news and several high profile reports in the Age, of which this is one. The Age article also features a radio interview with Bishop Stephen Hales of Access Ministries, which is quite revealing. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change for dummies

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A while back I tried to summarise the key factors in climate change science – to try and boil down a pretty complex area into bite-sized chunks. This piece was a summary of a summary by the Australian Academy of Science, which, though excellent, was still too intense for general consumption.

Now I’ve found this video which attempts to do much the same thing, and does it very well. Once you’ve watched this, you should be an instant expert, and also in no doubt about issues as presented by those scientists who work in the relevant fields.