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September 24, 2004

Mark Latham on family

There's one sign an election campaign is getting out of hand -- hopefuls drawing parallels to Star Wars:

I think I would be Luke, the last of the Jedi knights, and I hope in this campaign the force is with me, [...] Although I know one thing for sure. John Howard is not my father.

It's on page 006 in today's local section of The Australian (the first edition, anyway).

Country Liberal Party candidates and riots?

Oops? Or not?

September 19, 2004

35 minutes and 7 seconds

It's worse.

(And no loan machine, either.)

September 18, 2004

36 minutes and 36 seconds

I think I now know what it's like to have a half an hour call on a GSM handset, after having to call IBM's 0800 support number to log a problem report with a video driver.

The guy was quite good for a natter, and seemed to track down a variety of possibilities, from the Rescue and Recovery backup software, to blaming everyone's 'favourite' service pack (ho, ho, ho), while in the process of reminding me that reading the event log and running Google over errors is the thing to do.

I never knew learning that one's video driver appeared to start having infinite loop problems, a core dump, an apparently spontaneous restart, and being told to wait for a fix to pop up on IBM's website could be such fun.

Perhaps. Or maybe it was the radiation from the phone. :)

Ballot papers

Is it me, or are Lower Hutt City's ballot papers more of a nightmare than Wellington City's ones?

September 10, 2004

Falling apart at first, on average

Seems like that the new box is having some minor issues with load averages, using the exim4-daemon-heavy package from Debian testing. From what I could tell, it had something to do with frozen and bounced messages getting repeatedly reprocessed for viruses and spam stuff by Exim.

So, in the meantime, I've re-set ignore_bounce_errors_after and timeout_frozen_after to some probably dangerously (but hopefully sane and or understandable) low levels for now, and set values for queue_only_load and deliver_queue_load_max. Hopefully that does the trick for now, and things don't get too bad (like a big dictionary-based spammer attack on the mail servers here).

Perhaps setting these sorts of options as a matter of course when setting up an Exim daemon is a good idea, albeit from what I can tell.

In other news, I have upgraded to Movable Type 3.11. No apparent issues, but I've come up with a new method of installing the files that seem to make things quicker to upgrade.

Oh yeah, and there's a new logo on SCMA's website. Well, it's 'new' only in that it looks much better than our last drawing of it, but useful and much better, anyway.

[Listening to: Our Mystery -- Bebo Norman -- Myself When I Am Real (03:33)]

September 9, 2004

Spring!

Spring, spring, spring!

Damn, once again I now have to find different clothes to wear.

September 4, 2004

www.gop.gov is broken, sort of

Well, not a news story really, but surely not the sort of thing you want to happen to your one of your party's web sites during election season, even if your party hasn't bothered with the site for a while (presumably editing the site during summer is too much work, or you're not supposed to edit it during election time).

Current screen shot of http://www.gop.gov/ on a first page load.

Curiously, the workaround is to select the link to the Spanish language version of the page, and then go back to the English version.

I wonder how the Republicans got this domain name, anyway. I recall when the whois was showing more information, I saw something along the lines of 'federal exception'.

That Mazengarb Report

Hey, anyone know where I can get a copy of a certain Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents?

As far as I can tell, unless (another) previous act applies, the Copyright Act 1994 appears to say that the report's not covered by any copyright. I wouldn't mind scanning a copy of it, as I see it as one of the most important government documents of the 1950s era to deal with juvenile delinquency. The problem so far has been trying to find someone with a copy that they're willing to part with momentarily.

It's not a graphic read, as a lot of stuff is still covered up, if anyone's wondering about any morbid fascination of mine (which there is none of).

More on electoral fun

Having had some electoral fun already, I'm reviewing the print editions of the Northern Territory News, The Australian and their weekend counterparts right now. Monday, 30 August's NT News has the sitting CLP member for Solomon not confident of winning, despite his 88 vote majority, being rather profound, saying [if] 45 people change their minds then Solomon will be a Labor seat. In the meantime Tuesday's paper quotes a CDU lecturer who reckons there's no way first preferences will settle the matter. Yummy. The Australian on Monday reviews the fight in Solomon, too, calling the same said sitting member a larrikin, but pretty much saying the same thing.

July 3's Weekend Australian, however, has a rather comprehensive feature (and very personal) story on the said sitting member. If you can get hold of the article, it's a very interesting read. The August 29 issue's website edition includes an article that notes that [there] are 24 government seats held by less than 5 per cent, while Labor has 16. As I've found previously, Solomon's at the top of the list.

[Listening to: Election Night -- Bic Runga -- Beautiful Collision (03:05)]

September 3, 2004

Fun with Air New Zealand

I've sent Stupid Security's way some links to this week's fiasco over barefoot toddlers:

Some toddlers appear to have done something even a terrorist would have trouble doing -- delaying a flight by around 40 mins by boarding barefoot. It might have been quiet, if a couple NZ members of parliament hadn't been on board. Ironically, the captain only agreed to take off after the harrassed parents found some socks. Really, Air NZ could have picked someone else for safety or security issues.

Nat Howard (I presume it's him) asks if anyone has seen the captain's side of the story. My inkling is that it's a bit like the situation with public servants -- it's a bit hard to comment publicly on something you're passionate about (or pretty much anything, really) without losing your job.

I see he's also posted something someone sent him (no external website verification, though, but interesting nonetheless) about delays on an El Al flight's arrival because a smoker needed to be dealt with by police. My only possible guess (as posted in reply) is perhaps they either wanted evidence on their second trip, or perhaps both visits were a, uh, smoke screen for something else.

Thanks for the stories, Nat. :)

To (be) live or not to (be) live

If anyone's wondering, I'm currently watching Rove on TV3. I wonder if I should join their vast database of willing TV guinea pigs?

I need to make my life a bit more exciting some time soon. But I don't seem to be bothered at the moment. Hmmmm. I think it has something to do with upcoming assignments, as opposed to dangerously bad apathy, as I do want to be social, when I have the time.

September 2, 2004

Aren't I glad...

I think I'm glad that I don't diarise so often as some other people. Though I wish I'd Telecom's parody of broadband to download a certain service pack.

In other news: back to school on Monday. Yuck. In the meantime, in preparation, I went into the John Cawte Beaglehole Room to book a couple, uh, pamphlets for parents our esteemed government put out in the 1950s. No prizes for guessing what they were, though, but I do have a good reason for reading them. Really. Honest. I don't believe the things I try to do to study for EDUC 229...

Australia's 'most marginal seat'

Quick, guess which seat in Australia's House of Representatives is the most marginal?

Yes, according to the AEC's latest Electoral Newsfile, 116, it's Solomon, NT! (It's currently held by the NT CLP's David Tollner -- just.)

This will make for even better electoral fun this year, methinks.

Known issues

Seems like TrackBack ping addresses haven't been advertised for the two previous entries, one of which was before the upgrade to Movable Type 3.1 on tph. I suspect I know why, but yes, I'm working on it. At least TypeKey now works properly.

New box

I'm currently building a new box with a view to using it on Philip's network as at least a spam filter and virus scanner. Currently it's being used to relay mail between the gateway and greta.electric.gen.nz, but I have a feeling this (the spam and virus stuff) is actually something I should have another go at persuading greta to do on her own.

In the meantime, the load average issue on greta has pretty much disappeared, so the lag issues on the Jabber daemon have gone. Back in business!