Monthly Archives: March 2009

Turns out that’s not the case

Vodafone customer support? I have a question. Look, when I signed up with Vodafone, I was told that it roamed automatically with the Telstra service, so that the coverage was just as good as Telstra’s. Wherever Telstra had a tower, my Vodafone mobile would connect.

Anyway, I’m in country Victoria right now, and I’d like to ask – why is it that my friend here can make calls on her Telstra mobile, but mine keeps dropping ou… Hello? Hello?


UPDATE 3/4: Now there’s a surprise.

Conspiracies theorised

Rolling Stone thinks Wall St is using the bailout “to stage a revolution”.

I think they’re just jealous that it never occurred to THEM to stuff over the country and then hold it to ransom.

Earth Monday Afternoon

Once you start, you can’t stop.

UPDATE: Particularly if you make your living doing a particular thing.

eBay coy; doesn’t want to hurt subsidiary’s feelings

Oh dear – something’s gone wrong on the eBay payment method description page. They list the advantages and disadvantages of the permitted (damned ACCC!) payment methods and, whilst they’ve really gone to town with the disadvantages (both real and implausible) of most, they appear to have entirely forgotten to include any disadvantages for PayPal. What a strange omission!

Since I’m sure they meant the page to be a fair comparison of the options, and not a blatant bit of self-justifying for abusing their dominant market position in an anti-competitive manner by forcing PayPay on sellers, I thought I’d help them out with some of the obvious disadvantages of PayPay. No need to thank me fellas – the warm glow I’d get from seeing these honestly listed on the page in question would be payment enough.


  • Costs the seller more, since the eBay subsidiary is taking another cut out of the transaction – consequently, pushes up prices all round.

  • eBay’s policy of forcing sellers to offer PayPay has driven many sellers away from the site, reducing competition and choice; by using PayPay you are encouraging eBay to do this sort of thing more in the future.
  • “PayPal Buyer Protection” has major caveats and conditions which make actually getting anything out of them quite an achievement – you might as well have gone via your bank. Although PayPal claims that you’re “safe”, the buyer protection policy specifies that “recovery of your payment, whether whole or in part, is not guaranteed” and payment by PayPay is “at PayPal’s absolute and sole discretion”. So… not exactly “safe”. Good luck with that.
  • PayPay requires you to sign up to another internet service you don’t want when you’re already signed up for your online banking service.
  • You’re at the mercy of another private company that can lock up your account and keep your money from you.
  • It’s slow – when you go to transfer your money from the bank account to the seller, PayPay requires 5-7 working days before the money gets to them, and before it can then be sent to the seller and you can get your item posted to you.

I wonder why they left those out? They were more than diligent in listing the faults of the payment methods they don’t own.

Only an hour? Man, we’re stingy with our memorials these days

I haven’t bothered looking too closely into what it’s about, but if workers get a whole public holiday each year, and our military personnel get two, then surely it’s churlishness in the extreme to object to the planet getting an entire hour.

I don’t know what you’re planning to do to celebrate all Earth’s done for us, but I hope it’s something. Turn a light off. Turn a light on. Turn it on and off and on and off until the energy efficient bulb blows up and sprays mercury around your living room. Whatever. LIVE A LITTLE.

Three cheers for Planet Earth! Whatever its many faults, it’s always been there when we’ve needed it.

UPDATE: Proud to say that we supported the cause by turning every light in the house off for not just Earth Hour, but the whole evening. (We were out.)

They did it for teh lulz

Counterproductive, perhaps – but childishly funny.

Still – internet? You keep pulling this sort of stuff and it will just harden our resolve to destroy you.

ELSEWHERE: Melbourne audience frustratingly fails to pwn Stephen Conroy – although this does appear to be more due to the silly Q&A format, in which questions are not actually answered, and follow-ups to ask WOULD YOU ANSWER MY DAMNED QUESTION PLEASE are not granted.

Thus Conroy got to continue to obfuscate on issues like – is he planning to block all adult content (eg X-rated material that’s saleable in the ACT but not Victoria) by default or not? Does he have any evidence to counter the suggestion that any child porn that’s currently being easily accessed PROVIDES A BRILLIANT BLOODY OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH THE PEOPLE TRADING IT? When is he going to stop blaming everything on THE RUSSIAN MOB?

Is he worried that Andrew Bolt’s got his back? (Probably not; he’s had the support of an even less reputable Andy for years.)

Saturday List #1 – Villainy

It’s the weekend; enough with the seriousness. Time for some inconsequential, light-hearted blog fluff.

So I present a list of my top six most horrifyingly evil movie villains, the ones whose downfall I found the most satisfying:

  • Jason Isaacs as Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot (deliberately burns a church full of villagers)

  • Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus in Gladiator (kills his father, Maximus’ family, even cheats in the final battle – and has the best understated villain line ever: “why is he alive? He shouldn’t be alive. It vexes me. I’m terribly vexed.”)
  • Ralph Fiennes as Amon Göth in Schindler’s List (slaughters Jews just for fun – in particular, the capricious psychotic shootings of the engineer and the boy who can’t get a stain off his bathtub)
  • Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (destroys an entire populated planet just for “an effective demonstration”)
  • Robert Patrick as the T-1000 in Terminator 2 (slaughters a hell of a lot of people – which might seem understandable, since he’s a dispassionate killing machine, but just before the end he makes it very clear that he’s thoroughly enjoying it)
  • William Sadler as Colonel Stuart in Die Hard 2 (deliberately crashes a plane full of ordinary travellers, with a particularly menacing “We’ve got you, we’ve got you… *BOOM*… we’ve got you.”)

Any other suggestions? Who’ve I left out?

UPDATE: Of course!

  • Paul Reiser as Carter Burke in Aliens (whose cunning plan is to have Sigourney and the child exploded from the inside out by an alien in order to worm his way up the corporate ladder).

UPDATE #2: I can’t believe I left out

  • Christopher Walken as Max Zorin in A View To A Kill. (He callously shoots his own men – as the foreman pleads “these men are loyal to you!” – whilst cackling.)

UPDATE #3 (31/5): Oh, and

  • Sean Bean as Sean Miller in Patriot Games. (He brutally executes the cops and bridge keeper during his escape, and then tries to shoot Ryan’s wife and child just for revenge.)