Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Predators Back in Division 1

I don't know what the organisers are thinking, but for some reason we've ended up in Div 1 in the new comp. We won 2 and lost 2 games in the trials, and one was an emphatic loss.. so not sure what's going on there..

We came up against a decent team last night, and ended up winning 7-5 (or something like that). It was a pretty physical game with poor Andy getting steamrolled within minutes of subbing on. I thought he'd broken a few ribs or something, but he was back playing later in the game, he's a tough kid. We were playing with a few ring-ins with Mick (Chunga's buddy) and Charlie (Ted's buddy) filling in.

I felt our defence was pretty poor once again, we missed a few one-on-one tags and it was only the patended scrambling defence that saved us from conceding more. The opposition wasn't very quick on the outside so they didn't get a chance to expose one of our main weaknesses which is the lack of a good sliding defence.

In attack we were much better, with Kara scoring with his tried and true "arse barge" through their line and breaking through a few times. Finger also had a great run down the sideline burning the winger and getting past their cover defence. The ring ins also did really well. Personally, I still need to work on my sprints, a few times I almost got through the line but didn't have the acceleration to break though. Need to do some hill runs to build up leg power, but it's sooo cold outside! :(

Overall a decent start for the season, but we'll need to work on our defence a lot more against the better offensive teams. And without Phi and Lucky in the middle we need to organise our attack a bit better.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Work and Blogging

An interesting peice on the New York Times about what effect a generation of bloggers has on corporate culture. A lot of kids these days have a blog where they openly discuss everything and don't know where to draw the line about work (or even that a line exists).

I've always made sure that my personal blog doesn't really have to do anything about what I do at work. Even when it's something purely technical I tend to not say anything about it... which means a LOT of what I do in my daily life never makes it to here..

Maybe it's time to reconsider and go back to using the IBM blogging guidelines.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The War On Terror Continues

With the US refusing entry to UK/Sri Lankan MC M.I.A. I think her publicity has bitten her on her ass this time, since she's all about revolutionary zeal and pumping up the Tiger cause.. The whole "down with the hood" attitude wears thin pretty quick though. It's almost impossible to understand what she says on the blog (thankfully Pitchfork provided a translation from ghettospeak), but I get a sense that she's really just playing it up for the audience. Read the comments and they are just as well written.

It's clear from an interview she did with Pitchfork that she's an intelligent and well spoken person, but yeesh! Enough with the posturing.

Anyway, I'm sure the record company's expensive lawyers will convince the U.S Govt to let her in sooner or later. I'm sure they'll use the "it's just an act" defence.

I don't think I've said anything about her first CD, Arula, which I got after Amazon put it #2 after Sufjan Stevens Illanoise. Unfortunately Arula was miles, miles behind Illaniose IMHO. The heavy jungle beats sure scream out "LONDON", and the performances really pack a punch.. but the revolutionary ideals just fall flat for me. The silly posturing and "angry at the world" act just doesn't cut it. After Ms Dynamite and Princess Superstar. Maybe it's my jaded and cynical view of the world, but all I could muster was a resouning "meh!" to that CD. Might give it another listen sometime and see if it improves.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Evil Monkey

Since I've been at DD my team has got me hooked on Family Guy. It's absolutely one of the funniest things on TV. It (usually) makes absolutely no sense, has a shocking moral code and is absolutely brilliant. I've been working my way through the five seasons and I've definately noticed how things have gotten progressively zanier.

Brian (the talking dog, for those who don't know) plays a more central role now, and Stewie (the homocidal baby bent on matricide) has a less prominent role. Either way, it's just brilliant TV. Can be a bit hit and miss at times, but it's pretty much guarenteed to provide some hilarity.

Peter Griffin: Oh please tell me this is some kind of practical joke. Like the kind I used to play when I was an intern at the hospital.
[Cut to hospital]
Peter Griffin: I'm afraid I have some very bad news, your wife's going to be a vegetable. You'll have to bathe her, feed her, and care for her the rest of her life.
Guy: Oh my god.
Peter Griffin: [laughs] No no no, I'm just kidding. She's dead.

Quotes via WikiQuote.

And I leave you with, The Evil Monkey!!

Evil Money!

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Get Your Dirty Mitts Off Our Internet!

It seems that we have managed to prevent the big media companies from the US (MS and Yahoo!) from giving "broadcasters" rights above and beyond those given by copyright.

In essence the "Broadcast Provisions" introduced by MS and Yahoo - and opposed by pretty much every other country in the UN - gives people who do nothing but broadcast/webcast the work rights over it. Cory Doctorow explains on Boing Boing:

This is the Broadcast Treaty, which will create a new group of rightsholders, the people who transmit information (broadcasters, satellite casters, cablecasters, but for now, not webcasters). These people get a "broadcast right" to the works they transmit, over and above the copyright that goes to those works' creators. That means that even if you have the creator's permission to use a work you've received, you still need to get clearance from the broadcaster, whose only contribution to the work was putting it on the air.

Uses that are considered fair under copyright -- things you can do without the creator's permission, like quoting and parody -- won't be fair uses under broadcast rights. And broadcast rights will cover things copyright doesn't cover, like works in the public domain, factual material and government materials. And the broadcast right trumps the Creative Commons licenses that have already been applied to 53 million works in a scant three years; even though those authors want you to distribute their works, the "casters" still get to stop you.

This sort of thing is of course great for people who already host (though not necessarily own) a large amount of media. Or for those who have the infrastructure to provide the means to webcast this media. But for small people like bloggers and podcasters, it would make life very hard. Even if it was implemented, how are people going to keep track of who has the "broadcast rights" for some piece of media. What insanity.

While this is off the agenda for now, I'm sure it will pop up again. It was the hard work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Project on Technology, IP Justice and many others that saved us this time. Remeber what Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

Keep on Blogging!

A Rare Moment of Truthiness

Stephen Colbert, take a bow. How rare it is for a member of the media to stand up to the Bush administration and point out their failings to their face? That took real guts, determination and a big dose of truthiness.

Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner was a breath a fresh air after all the other press lapdogs had finished grovelling at the administration's feet. The unbearable chuminess and obvious avoidance of the administration's failings during the last two terms is really more than the public should bare. What would we do without Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert?

It was prety obvious that the press was in shock from the moment Colbert started. You could see eyes widening in surprise and hands going to mouths. It had been so long since someone skewered the President that it seems the press has forgotten what their role really should be.

What I and many others find most disturbing is that Colbert's speech is not getting any mainstream media attention. Seems the administration's media controls are still in force. Is this wilful self-sensorship? Even in Australia, the ABC did a story on the Bush impersonator (what a piece of crap, BTW), but no mention of Colbert's much more insightful parody. If it was not for the Internet spreading the video and story this would have sunk without a trace.

This only highlights the importance of the Internet as the last bastion of free speech and free press. I'm sure the governments of the world have new impetus to try and muzzle the internet.

Once again, Thank You Stephen Colbert.

Also, a good interview at The Onion.

Update - more reaction at Salon, here and here

Update 2 - after the video was pulled from YouTube, it seems that it's up on Google Video with C-SPAN's consent. Go get it now!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Oztag Winter 2006 - Game One

Had our first game of the new OzTag season last night. The Predators are playing in a new comp in Homebush this winter as the Bankstown one is not running. It seems that quite a few teams have migrated over with us, as the first team we played had quite a number of players from one of the Bankstown teams. I'm back int he team after a two season break, as was Michael "The Finger" Nelson. Jason Kara re-joined the predators after about a 10 season absence! The rest of the team was made up of last seasons Predators - minus Tim (uni), Chi (women), Mach (MIA) and Lucky (pansy).

The first four weeks will be a trial to determine what division we're in. There was talk of games being thrown but we managed to scrape through last night for a 9-8 win. The field was much smaller than at Birrong and any half break was enough to score. It didn't help that both sides was playing some shocking defence. You could certainly say that it was a first game of the season.

I still can't believe that we actually scored 9 tries in that game. The Predator's offense was pretty basic as always. We didn't get a lot of depth (they kept rushing our line) and we only managed to complete ~5 sets all night!

Highlights include Slappy getting sent off for being an ass, Phi getting clothslined, and copping a low blow. Lowlights include me missing a shitload of tags, resulting in a bunch of tries. Really need to focus in defence and myself in front of them.. Still shirty about it. :(