G’DAY WORLD #268 – on the WTO, IMF and Human Rights in Australia

Today Paul Montgomery from Fan Footy joins me to talk about the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, IMF and UN Security Council. I’ve just finished reading George Monbiot’s 2003 book “The Age Of Consent” and it’s made me want to learn more about how these international bodies operate.

Monty and I also chat about the appalling situation in Australia with the arrest of Mohammed Haneef (show your support with my “Free Haneef” t-shirt), recent Second Life financial scandal and I pimp the awesome Super Fi 5 Pro earbuds that the nice folks at Ultimate Ears sent me today.

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Cam’s World 26 July, 2007

Back in the chair today after the QLD trip and meeting all day yesterday. Looking forward to making some casts. Doing the next Napoleon and a GW today. Paul Montgomery is going to join me on GW. Want to talk about the IMF and WTO. Also my review of the wicked headphones the nice people at Ultimate Ears sent me today.

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Trying to get Norman Solomon, author of the book / film “War Made Easy” onto GW as a guest. Emailed his PR folks.

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You know what pisses me off? People who say they are going to do something with you, allow you to invest time and energy into the project, and then pull out with weak-ass excuses, having done squat. Where’s my elephant gun….

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When am I going to be able to run Second Life on Vista???

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w00t! I’m back in Second Life. Finally got it working on my new Vista PC. Add me as your friend so I don’t feel so frakkin dorkish. My Second Life nick is “Cameron Switchblade”.

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I’ve seen this video with Zappa (about censorship in music) before but Hugo linked to it recently so I watched it again. Zappa was a brilliant thinker. Interesting that this was on CNN (in 1986). Watching it now, you’d swear you’d were watching FOX.

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Scanning the recently-launched Global Peace Index, which ranks 121 nations according to their relative peacefulness. Fascinating stuff. Australia ranks at only #25, behind Uruguay and just ahead of Romania. I’m feeling proud. The USA comes in at #96, slightly ahead of Iran. #1 is Norway.

Free Haneef T-Shirt

Dr Mohamed Haneef is a 27-year old physician who was arrested on July 2, 2007 at the Brisbane Airport, Brisbane, Australia for suspected terror-related activities, specifically in connection to 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. He has currently been held in prison by Australian authorities for 24 days without being charged and now that it is clear that there is no evidence to suggest he had anything to do with any terrorist activities, the Australian Government has decided to deport him to rid themselves of the embarrassment.

Free Haneef

Buy the black t-shirt.
Buy other styles.

Cam’s World 23 July, 2007

Sitting in Brisbane with nothing much to do…

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Saw a great 2006 German film earlier at the Dendy in George Street called “Vier Minuten” or “Four Minutes”. It’s the story of an elderly lesbian piano teacher who works at a women’s prison and accepts a violent young student with massive natural talent to deal with her guilt from allowing her young female lover to be murdered by the Nazi’s 60 years earlier. Despite the negative review on IMDB, I really enjoyed it. Watch the trailer.

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Nick Hodge sent me this article by William Lobdell who for many years has written a column on religion for the L.A. Times. When he started, he was a “serious Christian”. However, by the end of his journey covering the crimes and perversities committed, endorsed and protected by Christians in the USA, he seems to have lost his faith. It seems that, even for “serious Christians”, the more you learn about Christianity, the less there is to like about it.

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Cam’s World 21 July 2007

Bundaberg. Cold. Slow. No 3G. Using my mum’s PC. She’s on some bullshit BigPond DSL plan where she only gets 400Mb a month for $40!! And it’s nearly used up, so I’m moving her to Dodo this morning. Screw Telstra BigPond and their bullshit data plans. Everyone – make sure your parents are getting screwed by their ISP. Have spent the last day cleaning up mum’s PC – swapping out Norton for AVG Free, moving her data over to an external drive, implementing a backup system, installing a new DVD drive, etc. Other sons mow the lawn. Just call us the Tech Support Generation.

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 Have to drive five minutes down to Bargara Beach to find a semi-decent coffee. Ugh.

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 According to some larrikin editing my Wikipedia entry:

“Some times uses the alias “Tony Harris” to backup his own arguements.” (sic)

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Love this story on BoingBoing:

Four federal inmates were indicted Tuesday on allegations that they copyrighted their names, then demanded millions of dollars from prison officials for using the names without authorization.The inmates sent demand notices for payment to the warden of the El Reno federal prison and filed liens against his property. They then hired someone to seize his vehicles, freeze his bank accounts and change the locks on his house. Unfortunately, the person they hired turned out to be an FBI agent.

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I have been reading up on Bush’s new Executive Order where he “directed the Treasury Department to block the U.S.-based financial assets of anyone deemed to have threatened “the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq” or who “undermin(e) efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq.” The order also enables Treasury to target those individuals who prevent “humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people”. As Bush and Friends have been responsible for 700,000+ civilian deaths in Iraq, I’m wondering if this EO means Treasury will block HIS assets.

Read the Executive Order or read an analysis of it by some experts.

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Neet and I cracked up this morning over this clip of prisoners in the Phillipines performing “Thriller”.

TPN Position Opening/s

I am looking for a new person to help us run TPN’s backend. This isn’t a full-time position as yet, just a part-time after hours kind of gig but with a view to making it a full-time position with TPN stock options at some stage this year. Interested parties should email me with their CV. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, as long as you are on broadband, and prepared to work your ass off to get a piece of TPN’s future.

Network/Server Administrator

The applicant should have an advanced understanding of the following skills with approximately 3 years or more of experience in Network/Server Administration

* Sound knowledge of Apache/UNIX server configuration, Redhat Enterprise and maintenance
* Advanced mySQL database knowledge and experience (import/export backup and retrieval)
* Advanced knowledge in IP configuration, DNS,UDP and advanced networking
* Firewall configuration/IP tables/wrappers and cron configuration
* Traffic analysis/statistics (awstats)
* Mailserver config/maintenance Qmail
* Server load balancing (preferable)
* PHP/XHTML/CSS knowledge preferable
* Understanding of web hosting and co-location

Software Developer/Engineer (PHP)
o 3 years experience minimal in advanced PHP programming and open source packages, experienced in the following applications:
o Sound knowledge of WordPress development, customization and deployment
o Advanced knowledge of RSS and Atom content feed aggregation and syndication. Trouble shooting and debugging feeds for validation.
o Experience in mySQL (creation, import/export backup and retrieval)
o Experience in publishing audio podcasts and video (preferable)
o Traffic analysis/statistics preferable
o Javascript/AJAX/XHTML/CSS
o CARP Evolution (preferable)
o Excellent problem solving skills

Facebook Phobia

What is it with all of the Facebook phobia I’m hearing lately? Today alone I have had three people tell me they either don’t want to sign up to Facebook or that they have signed up begrudgingly.

Here’s one email I just received from someone I’ll keep anonymous to protect the innocently luddite:

You’ll be highly amused to know that after so much hassle about FaceBook I’ve been bullied into setting up a profile. Don’t get too excited, I’ll
continue to be old, grumpy and curmudgeonly about having yet another online community tool to maintain and it will probably go the same way
as my abused and very neglected Second Life avatar.

Now this person isn’t a luddite at all. He is an industry insider. That’s what makes this phobia all the more concerning.

Listen – I have no problem with people not “getting” the whole online social networking thing. I’m not sure I get it myself. It might be an age thing. And yes, I avoided Twitter for a few months. But not because I was scared of it or scared about my privacy. I just didn’t see the point. Now – I do. Like most web-related things, you don’t really see the point until you’re using it. I can remember like it was yesterday when most people I knew didn’t see the point of email. Or mobile phones.

And I understand that Facebook isn’t nearly mainstream yet. I don’t expect my mum to be on Facebook yet. Or my sisters for that matter. But what I don’t get is geeks being worried about it.

Here’s another email I got today from a friend of mine who is a certified geek:

I nearly didn’t join Facebook. As someone with an unusual name, it’s a much bigger invasion of privacy than some systems and is not crystal clear about what information can be seen by who.

Now, she probably knows something I don’t, but here’s what Facebook say when you sign up:

At Facebook, we believe you should have control over your information and who sees it. So in addition to the basic visibility rules – only your friends and people in your networks can see your profile – we also give you granular control over the information you post to the site.

According to this recent Wired story, “No profile information is available to search engines.” Previously, some of your most basic profile information was available to spiders, but Facebook took that out as well.

In another recent article on BoingBoing, a security expert noted:

Facebook has very very fine grained privacy controls – which most users clearly do not know how to use.

So I am hoping if you folks can help me understand the current Facebook phobia. Personally I love Facebook as a way to interact with communities of interest and keep track with what my friends and audience are doing/thinking/reading. I find it’s events module far superior for managing events like MODM than Yahoo’s Upcoming site. I’m playing around with it trying to figure out how we use it at TPN to building tighter communities with our audiences and our hosts.

But if you can see problems with it, let me know so I don’t waste time and effort.