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May 31, 2005

Expensive ways to get a transistor radio

Well, I checked out the RRP today for the transistor radio I recently got to get some amusement. The Sony Walkman SRFS84S/SRF-S84 I got a few weeks ago on Fly Buys points to avoid getting around to buying an iPod or similar device has a recommended price of roughly $60 on Sony's website. I'm told by a family member that similar products are available from The Warehouse for around $2. Maybe Sony makes money off putting the Walkman logos and Mega Bass on the front.

I was expecting a rather high price, but not that high.

From the Computerworld site: wireless price gouging in local hotels, and -- with Telecom -- at your local Starbucks, Telecom competing with itself (apparently), the Wanganui Computer goes and Keith gets another hat at InternetNZ.

[Listening to: Big Yellow Taxi -- Counting Crows -- Hard Candy (03:46)]

[Listening to: Fallen -- Sarah McLachlan -- Fallen (03:51)]

[Listening to: Drops Of Jupiter [Album Version] -- Train -- Drops Of Jupiter (04:20)]

May 30, 2005

Too much of a good thing?

From the NZH: Vodafone overloading delay texts. Apparently it got a bit too popular. Stuff carries a longer Dominion Post article, but as usual, I don't link to those as, as I've previously explained, they're not archived. Mutter.

Wind turbine

The wind turbine at Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.

The wind turbine at Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.

Originally uploaded by jesstherese.

So... the wind turbine's blades are taking a break. But it looks kind of 'naked' without the blades on the turbine. At least they're on the ground, and not too far away. This photo by someone else I found today on Flickr; I really should visit the Brooklyn windmill some time soon to take a look for myself.

May 29, 2005

You are getting sleepy...

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

You are getting sleepy. You want to generate heaps of foreign exchange receipts for Wellington and the Hutt Valley by visiting. You are going online to some reputable online travel agent and booking a flight and accomodation to visit this place. Hmmm -- noone sleepy yet? Guess the bridge wasn't tempting enough, then.

(I wonder how much electricity this uses, come to think of it...)

[Listening to: some random radio station on my new transistor radio, purchased in an effort of apathy to be not to be getting around to buying an iPod.]

May 25, 2005

I'm a big boy now, says solo shopper Roscoe, 3

From the New Zealand Herald: I'm a big boy now, says solo shopper Roscoe, 3. Truth is stranger than fiction, it seems, of course.

The bird stays

Yay! The Morning Report bird call stays!

May 24, 2005

Christian porn filter seen as censorship

From the NZH: Christian porn filter seen as censorship.

Anti-porn software developed for schools by a company with links to fundamentalist Christians has been criticised for blocking students' access to leftist political forums and websites on sexuality and health.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard approved the Watchdog Corporation's CampusNet filtering software last year, as part of a $9.5 million package to help schools screen out hackers and objectionable material such as pornography.

I wonder if my Section 27(1) and public domain books page will be next? :)

A neutral thought here: perhaps it's better to not block information sites so students can get both sides of arguments, so they can research these views? Perhaps doing so, and providing some teacher guidance anyway for any Internet access, would help students form balanced and fair assignments and personal world views and opinions?

May 23, 2005

New Zealand faces up to a diverse future

From the NZH and the Herald on Sunday: Coping with the great Kiwi identity crisis and New Zealand faces up to a diverse future...

New Zealanders are obsessed with it, intellectuals are fascinated by it and migrants are giving it a new twist. Amid all the gnashing of teeth over the great Kiwi identity crisis, what seems to endure is a love of the land and laissez-faire egalitarianism.

We are, we believe, a society free of classes but stingy with emotions. We don’t like tall poppies, but we’re resilient, laid back, and multicultural.

Yeah right.

Immigration is changing our national identity, and according to academics, despite our claimed tolerance, we don’t like it much.

These articles have some relevance to the future of youth in terms of changing ethnicity statistics and tolerance and acceptance issues.

May 22, 2005

Final presentation

I have (if I have added my papers -- courses, if you will -- and points right), I have the final assessment piece for my major tomorrow. There are some ancillary bits such as a literature review and reflection to also do that are due on 27 May, but other than that, I am done.

May 20, 2005

Student political activism on blackboards

Student political activism at Victoria University of Wellington.

Student political activism at VUW.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

I don't know about other universities or colleges other than VUW, but here (well, at least everywhere at VUW but the former WCE, it seems), but here, there's a lot of blackboard (not usually whiteboards, oddly) political graffiti in lecture theatres. Otherwise notices about gatherings and 'advertisements' for commercial websites are put up, but I find it's usually political rants. Anyway, this was a rather odd one to turn up to at a GEND 101 lecture; I'm sure any pun wasn't intended. Ugh. From what I gather, it was probably written yesterday (Thursday) about student aid in the 2005 government budget presented at Parliament yesterday. I guess after the student protest at Parliament earlier this week people weren't too hopeful for all the youth undertaking tertiary study.

May 19, 2005

Telecom wireless access

Well, another try of Telecom's hotspot service worked this time, in the bar on the ground floor of the railway station in Wellington -- unlike my last attempt at Starbucks in Willis Street.

May 17, 2005

Google News page 2

Again, in the unlikely case someone finds it useful (like the previous customised page that was posted), here is my second customised Google News page.

May 16, 2005

College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age

From the New York Times: College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age. Some shades of Cambridge High School anyone, but perhaps at least in a more positive (and, well, American, geographically, as opposed to New Zealand) setting? And to imagine if VUW tried this... and to think of the digital rights management costs, especially with those non-one-off licence payments! Still, the basic principle shows much promise. Interesting, this all -- will be equally interesting to see how it turns out. Outside the world of education, I do wonder what uses there may be.

Time will tell.

On another note potentially stupid note, I managed to coax my DVD-ROM drive here to play the Brooke Fraser DVD, though not using my preferred software video player. But in any case, I'm playing it a few times now in case I don't get a chance to do it again on this computer. It's an improvement on the results of my last attempt to play the disc, anyway.

[Listening to: Saving The World, Lifeline, Arithmetic and Better -- Brooke Fraser -- What To Do With Daylight: Special Edition (Disc Two: DVD) (18:51/19:09)]

May 14, 2005

Brothels in Kent

According to the venerable site that is The Register, a search for brothels near postal code TN12 7EA shows a police station. Also mentioned is a pointer to Dutch academic research material archives, and a new way to use Skype for the classic scam. Yes, the 419. In other possibly equally venerable (or otherwise; I'm not intentionally judging them) spots:

On a different tack, I ended up buying the 'special edition' of Brooke Fraser's album. Unfortunately, the bonus DVD suffered pretty much the same fate that Centre Stage (which I can't seem to find right now) suffered on my computer -- it wouldn't play. Odd. It did when put into the television, so I'm still happy. Just someone don't tell me I need to send the computer in again for warranty service. The lack of a local authorised warranty centre gave me quite a shock in courier charges. The transportation charge was peanuts, but once the postal worker got to the compulsory insurance bit... apparently whole computers are quite a risk.

More books will be scanned from about Monday week. Watch the bookshelf. As for the quick table, it wasn't much of a success, but I might keep it anyway.

May 11, 2005

Chocolate at night!

Chocolate at night!

Chocolate at night!

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Chocolate! Nothing better than some chocolate piled up on one's desk at night, ready to be eaten!

A quick table of contents at the Section 27(1) page

I'm trialling a quick lookup table for the S27(1) and PD titles detailed at the Section 27(1) page. I'll have to decide shortly how to deal with the documents that appear in the Gallery area but not the S27(1) page itself, though. At this stage, I imagine they'll continue being unlisted on the S27(1) page, however. All good.

Constructive feedback would be appreciated, as usual. Thanks!

May 10, 2005


Apparently I've scanned a book on eugenics, I'm told! Or, something called The Fertility of the Unfit, by a William Allan Chapple, in any case. I've got a preliminary scan available now. A split page version will be available once I get my act together and put it through the DP OCR pool. Or, if I have enough time, I do that bit myself. As it happens, it will probably the former, due to school stuff to do.

This is one odd text published in 1903 (hey, it even had what appears to be the original cover still on it), but then again, I only skimmed it as I was scanning it tonight.


May 7, 2005


It's odd what has the most views in the greta.electric.gen.nz album: a picture of what I presume is a replica Parthenon that a friend uploaded. Maybe it has something to do with the rather odd comments the photograph received over the course of a couple of months. (Some other photographs suffered from a similar fate; I tried to get rid of the comments with obscene language or porn or other unwanted comment spam links. I don't like doing that. I feel like a censor. Yuck.)

Anyway, I imagine that Kari photographed the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee.

Raspberry Coke

More marketing madness: Coca-Cola with Raspberry. When will this endless marketing end? And what about Cherry Coke again? Someone?

In Internet-related stuff, Australia seems to be making motions with its upcoming ENUM trial. In education, evolution and creation come up again, this time in Kansas.

[Listening to: All I Need -- Bethany Dillon -- Bethany Dillon (03:16)]

May 4, 2005

How to make a decision

Stone, paper, scissors -- really. Honest.

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Flower, Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

I've been trying to figure out what this is, which I took during a lunch break at school. I was getting the impression asking about the other flowers in the pond I found this growing out of that the staff weren't too sure. I'm guessing this isn't lavender, however. Any clues, anyone?

Scanning more books

Thanks to a suggestion from someone obtained from an SCMA-sourced contact, I've started scanning a book from a William Allan Chapple, as well as a response to that book written by someone else. I expect I'll finish these by mid-June, though there are no guarantees, of course.

More details to follow. After some discussions with a local university library, I am also likely to have another select committee report from the 1920s scanned in addition to Venereal Diseases in New Zealand (1922). This will be likely to occur during the mid-year break at VUW.

[Listening to: On My Knees (LP Version) -- Jaci Velasquez -- Heavenly Place (03:49)]

Some more education-related articles from mostly the NYT and the BBC:

All right. Sleep seems good now.

[Listening to: Legacy -- Nichole Nordeman -- Live At The Door (04:16)]

[Listening to: My God (LP Version) -- Point Of Grace -- Steady On (05:04)]