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News for January 2011

Dirty Jeans A-OK

I know I’ve fallen to the evils of posting news articles far too often, but I’m trying to keep it to a minimum and specifically things that made me laugh, cry, or double handed face palm. 😛

An experiment carried out “just for fun” by a Canadian university student and his professor has found that denim jeans stay surprisingly clean even after being worn for more than a year without washing.

“I expected to find some bacteria associated with the lower intestine, such as E. coli, but was surprised to find there weren’t any, just lots of normal skin bacteria,” said Rachel McQueen, a textile science professor at the University of Alberta.

“This shows that, in this case at least, the bacteria growth is no higher if the jeans aren’t washed regularly.”

The raw denim jeans were being worn as part of another experiment by one of Prof McQueen’s students, Josh Le.

Mr Le had bought the jeans in 2009 and worn them at least five days of each week for 15 months and one week without washing them.

When it came time to give them a spin, Mr Le and Prof McQueen decided to test the jeans for bacteria growth as well.

The jeans were tested once before being washed and then again after being washed and worn for two weeks.

The results of the two tests were “virtually the same”, the university said.

Prof McQueen said the experiment indicated people could go longer between washing clothes with minimal risk, though she didn’t recommend delaying it for a year.

“Most bacterial organisms transferred into jeans come from the person wearing them, and providing there are no cuts or abrasions to the skin, the bacteria should not harm the wearer,” she said.

During Mr Le’s 15-month stint in the jeans, he aired them out three times per week to avoid odours. He has now given up wearing them every day.

“I’ve appointed them my weekend jeans,” he said.

Posted: January 31st, 2011
Categories: general
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Depression’s Smoking Gun, US to Blame for GFC

After 18 months spent reviewing millions of pages of documents, interviewing more than 700 witnesses, and holding 19 days of public hearings, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concluded bankers, lawmakers and regulators all contributed to the ethical and professional failings that plunged the world into financial panic.

But, it said, the American public, which over decades had saddled itself with unserviceable debt, was also at fault. “As a nation, we must also accept responsibility,” the report read. “Collectively, but certainly not unanimously, we acquiesced to or embraced a system, a set of policies and actions, that gave rise to our predicament.” “This financial crisis was avoidable. The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not Mother Nature or computer models gone haywire,” the report concluded.

Heaping blame on protagonists on Wall Street and in Washington who “ignored warnings, and failed to question, understand and manage the evolving risks within the system,” the commission, tasked by Congress and President Barack Obama, said “theirs was a big miss, not a stumble.” The report catalogs, in more than 400 pages, how the mortgage bubble grew, burst and came to infect banks’ balance sheets thanks to the magnifying effect of complex financial derivatives. “Trillions of dollars in risky mortgages had become embedded throughout the financial system.”

The report concluded big-name banks – from Citigroup to Lehman Brothers – as well as lenders like AIG and Fannie Mae, “acted recklessly, taking on too much risk, with too little capital.”

The panel painted a bleak picture of corporate culture that placed “risk justification” before “risk management” and where bonuses encouraged quick deals for short-term gains, without regard for the consequences.

The report also lambasted the “Federal Reserve’s pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages” through its policies of low interest rates and failure to set adequate standards for lending. Government regulators, they said, “were not at their posts,” instead depending on a misplaced faith that markets would “self-correct” and financial institutions would police themselves. “We do not accept the view that regulators lacked the power to protect the financial system.” But the panel’s conclusions were not reached unanimously.

The six Democrat-appointed members of the panel endorsed the final text and four Republicans dissented. That partisan backing is likely to blunt the impact of the report, which comes after US lawmakers have moved to overhaul Wall Street and a host of books and autobiographies have chronicled events in detail.

Its authors said they hoped the study would help people understand how the crisis could have been avoided. “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion it will happen again.”

Posted: January 28th, 2011
Categories: general
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An Obnoxious Little Facebook Hack, Try it, RT it, Enjoy

So, want to grief your friends at work? This obnoxious little exploit will let you do just that, abuse it while you can as it won’t be around long.

1. Go find yourself a group you really wouldn’t want to be associated with, be creative, think outside the box. Make sure it involves sodomy, baby oil, and techno.
2. Join that group, then click suggest to friends.
3. Paste this into your URL bar: javascript:elms=document.getElementById(‘friends’).getElementsByTagName(‘#’);for(var fid in elms){if(typeof elms[fid] === ‘object’}{fs.click(elms[fid]);}}
4. Sit back and be amused that you’ve just forced that content into a Sponsored Story section of your friends home pages about sodomy, baby oil, and techno.

The promoted content will appear on the right side of users’ home pages, not in their main news feed. That’s where regular ads, friend requests and other content are located. Involving users in advertisements without their consent has been a thorny issue for Facebook, and on the heels of Sucker-berg being haxed, this little exploit will prove just dandy.

Repost this everywhere and enjoy.

Posted: January 27th, 2011
Categories: general
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So, @nswpolice, you put me in a very dangerous situation tonight

I haven’t had a baww post in a while, and this definitely deserves it, for one very valid logic driven reason; the laws of my state set me up in a situation where I would most definitely become a victim of crime. How, I hear you say?

I drive a reasonably overpowered sexy performance vehicle, the area I was stopped in was a pretty dodgy high crime area with very poor lighting. On being stopped for a ‘random breath test’ (ie: we want an excuse to stop you and see what we can find wrong) they found my license had expired. $430ish fine, no big, no demerits or suspension. But here’s the kicker. You can’t move your vehicle to a safe location.

I couldn’t figure out how to get the car home as I didn’t know two drivers who could car pool over to pick it up. I pointed this out to the cop, who didn’t seem too concerned, and pointed out that my vehicle has faulty back doors, which open even when locked (long story, bad AAMI repairers of an insurance repair job that I’ve yet to get a chance to rectify). He asked me about my car when he was done fining me, whether it was the turbo model or whether I’d just badged it up, and I took that opportunity to point out it was, and suggested that I have no doubt if the vehicle is left where it was that someone would open the back doors, pop the bonnet, unbolt the turbo and manifold and walk off with a smooth $8k of Garrett technology.

He shrugged and said that I’m not allowed to move the vehicle, not even one foot.

So the question is, if someone has been driving for (well, at risk of giving away my age, let’s just say …) a considerable time, never having caused an accident, who has been driving with an expired license for a while now, without their car spontaneously exploding or what not, what’re the odds that they are simply on detection suddenly a massive danger on the road, as opposed to a very obvious crime destined to occur?

By very obvious, I do mean very obvious. My vehicle is one of the most powerful mass produced vehicles available in Australia, and I have no doubt that if left on the side of some dodgy dimly lit street that a passerby, if not the neighbours, would come out and give the doors a try and voila, $8k. That’s assuming they stop at the turbo and manifold, they could probably harvest twenty odd grand with just a pair of multi-grips.

I mean, where’s the line drawn of discretion? My state’s road rules are patently absurd, even politicians have said so, and they’re being ‘reformed’, or at least have been in such a state for the last three years now ever since people can get a 6 month suspension for TWO speeding offences.

I keep wondering, if I go somewhere that isn’t batshit insane with road rules like NSW, Australia, like a place where getting a suspended license is reserved for–like one would assume–really stupid or dangerous drivers only, and I’m confronted with a question on a rental vehicle of “Have you ever had your license suspended or cancelled?” and I tick yes, what kind of treatment will I expect? I’ve had my license suspended, for two offences, minor offences at that. The straw was overtaking a truck over double lines that was doing 50kph under the speed limit and had pulled half off the road so the 2km line of traffic he was holding up could pass, on a straight strip of road, broad daylight, with visibility well over a thousand meters. I mean, seriously.

Okay, gone off topic bawwing about that, but does anyone else think it’s a little fucking absurd that to stop a MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENCE that they consider it legit to incidentally allow a serious motor vehicle theft to occur? I mean, the fucker even said “If you drive your insurance won’t cover you.”, I’m pretty sure if I abandon an unlockable vehicle of my make, model, and badge in a dingy fucking suburb and it gets ganked my insurance won’t cover me either for being a barrel of dicks.

So, I’d just like to take this moment to say, New South Wales Police, you’re a bunch of fucking arsehole. And ‘just doing your job’ should NEVER, EVER, EVER put a citizen in a dangerous situation of being stranded in a high crime area in a very expensive very fast car that people would love to jack, especially for just a MINOR thing like a fucking expired license.

Hell, if you apply the but for test, the Roads and Traffic Authority should get a kick in the arse for not sending out a renewal notice to begin with. How often do you check your license? I can honestly say I’ve NEVER checked expiry dates because the RTA send an automated renewal to you a month or two beforehand.

PS: Oh, and because I know all tweets directed at the @nswpolice address of blog posts get read by their PR department, I hope you appreciate this blog gets 3.7m viewers (those stats are a few months old, so it’s probably more now) and syndicates across 100k+ followers across all social networks. Enjoy the bad publicity! Or rather, having your batshit insanity exposed to my international and interstate readers who’re probably lol’ing at my strife yet secretly grateful they don’t live in NSW. 😛

Posted: January 27th, 2011
Categories: general
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The Internet has reached 2 billion in demographic reach

Random article that made me smile. 1/3rd of the worlds population. ONE THIRD. That’s awesome, albeit still pretty slow. So, I suggest, if you know a nub who’s netless, hook ‘em up. Neighbour? Psh, let them steal your wifi. Workmate? Schoolmate? Well, cleanse with fire, you know the deal. 😛

The number of internet users worldwide has mushroomed to reach the two billion mark, the head of the UN’s telecommunications agency, Hamadoun Toure, said today.

The number of mobile phone subscriptions also reached the symbolic threshold of five billion, the secretary general of the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said.

“At the beginning of the year 2000 there were only 500 million mobile subscriptions globally and 250 million internet users,” he said.

“By the beginning of this year 2011 those numbers have mushroomed to over five billion mobile users and two billion subscribers to the internet,” Mr Toure said.

An ITU statistician told AFP that the figure for mobile telephones related to subscriptions.

Fresh data posted online by the agency showed that the estimated number of internet users had reached 2.08 billion by the end of 2010, compared to 1.86 billion a year earlier.

The estimated number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide reached 5.28 billion at the end of the last year, compared to 4.66 billion at the end of 2009.

“The very high growth in mobile (phones) is slowing and we’re reaching the end of double digit growth in mobile,” Susan Teltscher, ITU head of market information and statistics, said.

With the world’s population exceeding 6.8 billion, nearly one person in three surfs online.

Fifty-seven per cent of the users are in developing countries, three years after the ITU reported that internet use there overtook developed nations.

The number of fixed broadband internet subscriptions in the world passed the half a billion mark for the first time in 2010, reaching 555 million, while the number of mobile broadband subscriptions surged to 940 million.

Meanwhile, fixed telephone landlines declined for the fourth year in a row, dropping just below 1.2 billion.

Asia and the Pacific spearheaded the shift into cyberspace, adding more than 100 million internet users to the global tally to bring the number of internet users in the region to 857 million – largely due to China, Ms Teltscher said.

But the highest density of online surfers in the population is found in Europe, followed by the Americas, former Soviet states and Arab nations, according to the ITU data.

The most rapid online growth in recent years has occurred in the latter two regions.

In Arab states, the estimated number of internet users has reached 88 million, doubling in the space of about five years.

Growth in the former Soviet Union’s Commonwealth of Independent States was even faster: 127 million people used the internet there last year, compared to 51 million in 2007 according to the ITU estimates.

“They have been catching up because they had lower penetration rates before,” Ms Teltscher said.

Posted: January 27th, 2011
Categories: general
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Gaming Addiction – A Hillariously Wanky Article

ALMOST one child in every 10 may be addicted to video games. (More like 9 in 10 – BaSH)

And the consequences – an increased risk of anxiety and depression, social phobias, and poor performance at school – can be devastating.

A team of international researchers has found that the longer players are addicted, the worse such problems could be.

Their two-year study monitored the gaming habits of more than 3034 primary and secondary school students.

Those who spent longer periods playing games had lower social competence and were impulsive.

“Depression, anxiety, social phobias and lower school performance seemed to act as outcomes of pathological gaming,” the study found.

Clinical psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack, who has treated clients as young as nine wrestling with the effects of uncontrolled gaming, said she was not surprised by the findings.

“It is a huge problem here,” she said.

“There is a difference between something that is a passion and an addiction.

“An addiction is all that you focus on. It takes over from every other part of your life.”

Ms McCormack said the average age of clients she saw suffering video-gaming-related disorders was 14.

The answer was not to ban games altogether but to enforce rules that limited the time children could spend playing.

“Parents need to step into their children’s lives,” she said.

For Joshua Miselowski, playing video games is as much about socialising as racking up high scores.

The St Kilda East teenager this year managed to pull off a balance between studying for his VCE and blowing off steam for an hour each night playing games such as World of Warcraft online with friends.

But the 18-year-old had no intention of playing to excess.

Dad Morris said video games gave his son a much-needed break from study, and it was important for parents to embrace technology and work with their children to prevent addiction.

“I think many parents today don’t understand technology such as games, and end up passing their fear on to their children,” Mr Miselowski said.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/tchnology/gaming/video-games-grab-teen-addicts/story-e6frfrt9-1225990825712#ixzz1BU0bec7I

Posted: January 19th, 2011
Categories: general
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Weekly Tweets for 2011-01-16

  • As you all know, I love exposing / trolling psychics, @psychicmedium made me smile today: http://yfrog.com/h87y2kcj #
  • Tragic floods, sure, but all free to air channels are nothing but the same repeated footage of the Queensland floods. Give me a break. #
  • I need to learn to do unto others, it's far easier to show people than to explain to people. #
  • I just threw up. Awesome. ._. #
  • 9-7pm all three FTA channels in AU are about the flood disaster; it's usually always the same five minutes of footage on loop too. Boring. #
  • I, and the rest of the world, laugh derisively at Jersey girls. I can't believe they think their fashion (non)sense isn't atrocious. #
  • In a complete freak occurrence (3% odds) my grandmother's small cell carcinoma is in remission, yay chemotherapy! Best. News. Ever. #
  • Caught bits of Avatar the Last Air Bender, should be called The Art of War Through Interpretive Dance. Catchier and more apt. #
  • Sorry can be more syllables than one can say it seems: http://yfrog.com/h8drzrmj #
  • Moss piglets, so strange: http://yfrog.com/h8jzgqtj #
  • Iced Vovos. Fuck yeah. http://yfrog.com/h7rk7vqj #
Posted: January 16th, 2011
Categories: twitter
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Astrology, Not Surprised it’s Hocum?

You’ve all read it, the star signs we are used to are based on constellations observed by the ancient Babylonians two millennia ago and over the last two to three thousand years they’ve … GASP, moved.

But, if you’re one to believe that the location of astral bodies defines, confines, or in any way forces you to act in a certain way (Oh the amount of bitches with bad attitudes you know who’re all “OH THATS COZ IM AN ARIES”, cough, bullshit.) then you are, as the rest of us have been trying to tell you, delusional and full of shit.

The debate has created a storm on the internet after Minnesota Planetarium Society board member Professor Parke Kunkle pointed out the potential problem.

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” he said.

Professor Kunkle says the phenomenon is the result of something called “precession” caused by the wobble of the Earth affecting how we see the distinctive patterns in the night sky.

Sydney University’s Professor Tim Bedding said the Earth rotates on its axis but the axis does not point in the same direction all the time.

“What that means is that the time of year in which a sun passes through a constellation changes,” Professor Bedding said.

This action causes a change of one degree every 70 years in our viewpoint and while this is so small it is hardly noticeable after 2000 years it all starts to add up, he said.

The irony is, astrologers have already started to come out with even more flim flam to protect their already ubiquitously flim flam field, and astrology saps who’ve bought into it, such as newspapers and places that hire astrologers have already countered with “Did you always feel you were an Aries even though you were told you were a Pices?” to try and mitigate the damage this has done to a multi-million dollar industry of exploitation.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/body-soul/signs-of-change-as-astronomer-parke-kunkle-says-star-signs-out-of-date/stry-e6frfot9-1225987864927#ixzz1Az3le8G1 <– Or don’t, we’re legally obliged to source them, but they’re one of the newspapers who hire a crapload of psychics and astrologers, so to throw a cat amongst the pidgeon I have removed one random letter accidentally from the URL. >:D

Posted: January 14th, 2011
Categories: general
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Thousands of birds drop from the sky?

I love creepy little oddities, this ones a news in brief about a strange phenomenon that occurred NYE in Aw-can-saw (amidoinitrite?) US.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said that it began receiving reports yesterday about the dead birds about 11:30pm the previous night.

The birds fell over a two-kilometre area and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area.

Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said the birds showed physical trauma, and she speculated that “the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail”.

The commission said that New Year’s Eve revellers shooting off fireworks in the area could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.

Robby King, a wildlife officer for the agency, collected about 65 dead birds, which will be sent for testing to the state Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Wisconsin.

Ms Rowe said that similar events have occurred elsewhere and that test results “usually were inconclusive”.

She said she doubted the birds were poisoned.

Posted: January 10th, 2011
Categories: general
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Weekly Tweets for 2011-01-09

  • Big thunderstorm in Sydney, after a few scorching days it's well appreciated. Although my sympathies to Queenslanders and their floods! #
  • I'd love to get a lost of jamster customers for an old fashioned killing spree. So sick of their ads. They're SO amazingly shit. #
  • Trying to find a nice design sennheiser headphone and bam, an ad for them on TV! I've NEVER seen an ad for them, it's fate! #
  • Fuck the world is full of absolutely mediocre 'musicians', and 3.5k sales gets you an Aria these days. Maybe I should start a band for lols? #
  • Cats, for their size, make amazingly loud disgusting noises when they eat. #
  • I woke up congested, can it be? After a fortnight of flu has rhinovirus come to say G'day? Can't help but laugh, the irony is killing me. 😛 #
  • Nurbergring faces closure: http://www.carpoint.com.au/news/2011/n%c3%bcrburgring-facing-closure-23142 #
  • BBC One is producing The Man in the High Castle, a Phillip K. Dick alt. reality, dir. by Ridley Scott. Sounds fantastic! #
  • Re: earlier tweet. Ridley Scott's first huge cultural hit Blade Runner was based off Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick. #
  • Oh internets. Made me smile: http://yfrog.com/h2ewekyj #
Posted: January 9th, 2011
Categories: twitter
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Weekly Tweets for 2011-01-02

  • The new Hawaii Five-O is fantastic! It's yet to air in AU but the first season is over in the US, grab it at http://eztv.it and enjoy! #
  • Finally a text submission that speaks the truth when it comes to those terms and conditions you never read: http://yfrog.com/h83vbyj #
  • I enjoyed the iPhone 4 alarm bug giving me a sleep in today, no complaints here. #
  • Big thunderstorm in Sydney, after a few scorching days it's well appreciated. Although my sympathies to Queenslanders and their floods! #
Posted: January 2nd, 2011
Categories: twitter
Tags: ,
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