Monday, March 28, 2011

I've given up

I've given up on watching Question Time with the Politicians. Even the bits we get to see during the news make my head hurt. Do they have to shout at each other all the time??? Can't they all at least pretend to be grown ups?

And these are the people who get to decide what we do as a country.

On the other hand, I just watched Q&A, and the way that everyone handled the conversation and behaved themselves staggered me. It's like *swoon* competent and coherent conversation about important topics.

Also, the live tweets are hilarious.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stolen House

Yesterday, whilst on ABC Online, I noticed an article titled Dude Where's My House?. It was a brief article about a landlord going to collect rent (in Malaysia) and finding the house was missing. There wasn't a lot of information, so I went (as you do) to The Star Online.

Landlord homes in on 'missing' house. Same basic story, but in addition, there was a picture of it, and more backstory. Basically, in early February three men arrived at the two story wooden house, removed all the furniture, dismantled it, and took everything away. All that is left is the 24 concrete pillars that used to hold it. The neighbours didn't suspect anything was strange about this so didn't challenge the men as they carried out their task.

:P Only in Malaysia :D Read the Star Article, it's quite good.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy IWD

Happy International Women's Day!

I didn't do anything special, just went to work, although I did tell several of my coworkers that that is what today was. :D I'm a bit surprised that they didn't already know :/

It's the 100th Anniversary of IWD this year, work is supporting at least one event.

"International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday." -- Taken from the International Women's Day website.

I may update with linkage or a full blog post later this week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dear Kim Hames, Health Minister

Dear Kim Hames, Health Minister

I was really sad this week to hear that you are going to sign a 3 million dollar contract with Serco for the new Fiona Stanley Health Campus. Actually, I was even sadder that the only way I found out was because the union of the people you're going to displace by hiring private contractors, chose to demonstrate by blocking traffic in St Georges Terrace earlier this week. Whilst I disagree with the method, I agree with the sentiment. Why do you think it is a good idea to privatize the services in a Public Hospital?

Also, why does the opening date keep moving for the hospital? It was being discussed in 2006 by the previous government, you promised to start work on it in 2008... and here we are in 2011, and all that is done is the land is picked out. It's supposed to open in (what is now) 2014. I heard Doctors have been hired, but they have nowhere to work yet.

Please get on with it.



I've noticed a worrying trend

I love ebooks. I love the convenience, I love that they are usually a little cheaper than paperbacks (being that no trees are harmed in the production of an ebook). I really love that I can have a craving for reading some fluffy romance or stuff with cowboys in it at 2am and not have to wait for the bookstores to open the next morning to get some.

However, not everyone wants me (or you, or anyone) to buy their ebooks like good citizens of the interwebs.*

I bought my first ebooks in 2009, at HarperCollins (au and us) ebook websites. Buying directly from the publisher, getting additional epilogues from the authors I wanted to read was really awesome. I also belonged to a website called CyberRead.

About eight months ago, I got an email from CyberRead. There was something strange going on in the Publishing industry, and they'd lost the ability to sell some of their titles. Then three months later, they started sending reminders to back up my ebooks. Just before Christmas, I had two emails from Harper Collins ebooks. Despite it's popularity, HarperCollins had decided to close all their ebook websites. If you wanted to redownload, you had to do it before December 19. I forgot my one ebook on the US website, but when I remembered on December 21, it was too late. The site had been removed.

More emails have been received from CyberRead in the past few months about backing up my ebooks. Last week, I got the email I had been expecting and dreading. To back up or redownload all my ebooks NOW because CyberRead was closing sometime in the next week due to "unprecendented changes in the ebook industry". A few days ago I got another email telling me I had 24 hours to finish backing up or redownloading my ebooks as after that I would no longer be able to access their website.

I worry about this happening, because the Publishing Industry seems to be moving towards only large companies selling their ebooks. What if I don't want to buy my ebooks from the companies I buy paperbacks from? Even though they save a lot on ebooks not being physical objects, sometimes it still costs the same price for me to buy it. It's really worrying to me that two websites (one an actual publisher!) have had to shut down their ebook operations so suddenly.

I just hope that in six months or a year, when I want to buy an ebook, it won't suddenly cost more than the paper copy.

* (Also, srsly, buy your ebooks. Don't download them for free over torrent. For one thing, it's like buying a stripped book - bad and it costs people money. Like the author? That person who writes it gets nothing from you downloading it for free. The other thing is people can put nasties in your stuff you get from limewire or torrent, and then whoops, your computer is infected with viruses (which macs can't get) or spyware (that everyone can get) so yeah, don't do it.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Never Be A...

Every time I have turned on a radio or tv today, I have been treated to Tony Abbott SHOUTING about how the Government has lied, said there would never be a carbon tax and now they are introducing one, oh how can the Australian Public ever trust them again, etc.

May I (and everyone else in the entirety of Australia) remind Mr Abbott that A little over ten years ago, we were promised that GST would never become part of Liberal Party policy?

Two days of childish Question Time where absolutely nothing got accomplished because you kept harping on about the carbon tax and saying everything would go up, without apparently doing any research or providing a viable alternative. I'm not saying it's all your fault for doing this, but you certainly didn't help.

What a remarkable and admired country we would be if our Politicians would actually manage to work together on important things. Yes, like Climate Change. And Asylum Seekers.