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News for October 2010

Don’t be a Sphex!

We all know people who match this cross-species definitive behavior:-

Some Sphex wasps drop a paralyzed insect near the opening of the nest. Before taking provisions into the nest, the Sphex first inspects the nest, leaving the prey outside. During the wasp’s inspection of the nest an experimenter can move the prey a few inches away from the opening of the nest. When the Sphex emerges from the nest ready to drag in the prey, it finds the prey missing. The Sphex quickly locates the moved prey, but now its behavioral “program” has been reset. After dragging the prey back to the opening of the nest, once again the Sphex is compelled to inspect the nest, so the prey is again dropped and left outside during another stereotypical inspection of the nest. This iteration can be repeated again and again, with the Sphex never seeming to notice what is going on, never able to escape from its programmed sequence of behaviors. Dennett’s argument quotes an account of Sphex behavior from Wooldridge’s Machinery of the Brain (1963). Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett have used this mechanistic behavior as an example of how seemingly thoughtful behavior can actually be quite mindless, the opposite of free will (or, as Hofstadter described it, antisphexishness).

Posted: October 31st, 2010
Categories: general
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-10-31

  • If you're going to kill yourself, don't do it by jumping in front of a train during peak hour. That's just being a complete cunt. #
  • Just found out my grandmother's cancer is terminal. 🙁 #
  • I've favourited a YouTube video — DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love(Ft.PitBull)(With Me) http://youtu.be/T4ChcMtiiic?a #
  • After being missing for a week my little kitty has returned! http://yfrog.com/77ddnj #
  • How will Australian game sellers handle Blizzard pricing digital WoW Cataclysm at nearly $80 lower than them? http://bit.ly/9ggig3 #gaming #
  • Dear 'chef's and related TV shows; you can self aggrandize as much as you please, but you're still just a cook. Get a real job, hippies. #
  • The sky was ablaze with awesome and wonder this afternoon, didn't have my 4G on hand to get a higher res though: http://yfrog.com/7ehfbdxj #
Posted: October 31st, 2010
Categories: twitter
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-10-24

  • Paranormal Activity was bad enough, 2 looks worse. Let's see if the consumer market is a sucker to hype again. My bet is they are. #
  • 730PM AEST on 10, @maudegarrett is on Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, shame it's a pre-record or I'd organize something trololol. #
  • It seems server hot fixing isn't going to resurface in WoW:Cat, even though they have always been able to, @blizzardcs choose not to. #
  • #Dexter S05E04 aired in the US, and because AU TV is too far behind, here's a direct link to the #torrent of it: – http://bit.ly/c98uHL #
  • I just realised the date is currently 20-10-2010. At 8:10 PM it'll be 20:10/20-10-2010! :O #
  • Beauty and the Geek Australia is shaping up to be pretty lol, scheduled to air on channel 7 in a couple of weeks. #
  • Just in case you've ever wondered whether it was a UFO or not, here's an easy identification list: http://bit.ly/d4E6rd #
  • Trinny and Sussanna's Westfield ad goes to show they've never experienced an Australia summer. No one here wears a jacket in summer ffs! #
  • Is Khloe Kardashian TRYING to look more and more like Rosie Odoublechin? #
Posted: October 24th, 2010
Categories: twitter
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-10-17

  • All the miners are out in Chile, 33rd just emerged. Good job to the rescuers! Screw being stuck down a hole that long though! D: #
  • There's clouds of moths all over the place, looks like some biblical pestilence man. I must have a few mil stuck to my car. D: #
  • There's nothing 'rolling' about a 'rolling restart' if ALL your servers are offline for an hour plus. @blizzardcs fail as always. #
  • Headache of doom. Napping a few hours in hopes it'll sod off. #
  • The Australian dollar hit parity with the US dollar today. About time. Now, what amazingly cheap US muscle car should I buy? #
Posted: October 17th, 2010
Categories: twitter
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Tabloid Heaven: Kyle Sandilands courts Lara Bingle

In what could potentially be a match made in tabloid heaven, the X Factor judge and model are said to be spending “a lot” of time together. Tabloids are reporting frequent sleepovers are said to be included in their new-found friendship.

It’s also understood the pair, who travelled to the US on separate business trips recently, spent time together in Los Angeles away from the glare of the Aussie media.

“They have been friends for a while but it is turning into something a bit more than that,” a ‘spy’ told The Daily Telegraph, one of Australias worst tabloid rags “But it’s at that early stage where they’re keen to keep it under wraps.”

Both Bingle and Sandilands have been single for about the same time following their highly-publicised splits from respective partners Michael Clarke and Tamara Jaber. When in doubt, turn to immaculate sources like ‘a spy!’

Posted: October 14th, 2010
Categories: general
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Don’t Thank me for my Patience, @Warcraft

Nothing pisses me off more than when people thank you for your patience. No one is patient. We don’t want to wait, we HAVE to wait. If we could punch you in the kidneys and make you do your job properly, we would. You are negligent and unable to maintain a service to a standard that is normative and expected compared to other companies. We just tolerate it because we have limited options, if we had the option for immediate service, we’d take it; hell if we had the option to obtain the same product from someone else we’d sell you out in a heartbeat.

Customer loyalty stops at the point where time consumed to rectify a problem exceeds tolerable standards divided by the amount you’re being dicked by said provider. In the case of World of Warcraft, every expansion leads to an exodus of millions of users, and every expansion involves a roll out that impedes game play over a period of several weeks leading up to, and several weeks thereafter an expansion. Usually it all comes with a caveat that “We know this isn’t cool now, but we’ll work on it after you’ve bought the expansion!” and never happens, so that is a dicked in butt multiplier right there too.

But I couldn’t go past the below thread without it irking me, and without thinking; we’re only patient because we don’t know where you live motherfucker.

Addendum: Most recent update by Blizzard, ‘We’re still finalizing our tests on all realms and are extending the anticipated time for bringing them back online to 6:00 p.m. PDT.’ I called it alright! 😛

Blizzard Entertainment

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Rishgur
Blizzard Poster

  • 0. Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/10/2010 11:00:19 PM PDT

We will be performing extended maintenance on Tuesday, October 12th. Maintenance will begin at 12:00 AM PDT and conclude at approximately 12:00 PM PDT. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Thank you for your patience.


Rishgur
Blizzard Entertainment

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Enthati
Blizzard Poster

  • 1. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/11/2010 06:53:29 PM PDT

Alongside this maintenance will be the release of patch 4.0.1; due to the size of the patch, we highly recommend enabling your background downloader. If you need assistance doing so please visit: http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=35274 .


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Laetzin
Blizzard Poster

  • 2. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 10:13:22 AM PDT

Due to unforseen complications, we are extending the maintenance for all realms until 2PM PDT.

Thank you for your patience.


Laetzin
Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment

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Ralvorinn
Blizzard Poster

  • 3. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 01:25:22 PM PDT

We are extending the maintenance for all realms until 4PM PDT.

Thank you again for your continued patience.


Ralvorinn
Blizzard Entertainment

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Ralvorinn
Blizzard Poster

  • 4. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 03:43:04 PM PDT

We are in the final stages of completing the maintenance process and will begin bringing realms online shortly. We currently anticipate all realms will be online by 5:00PM PDT and appreciate your continued patience.


Ralvorinn
Blizzard Entertainment

Posted: October 13th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-10-10

  • Had a few people ask, attached is the 'model' from The Colony, she's Becka Adams on my Flickr friends list: http://yfrog.com/nflqdmj #
  • I give up, time for the inevitable, sleep time. #
  • Damned if you do, damned if you don't! #
  • 7th of December, 2010. Write me off your calender for a few months, Warcraft Cataclysm's release date. My predictions were nearly spot on. #
  • Just found out my grandmother has lung, pancreatic, and liver cancer. Now I have to figure out how to break it to her and mum. :/ #
  • Lauren Boden proves athletic women can wear make-up and not look like bull-dykes at the the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. #
  • So little sleep, in such a foul mood today. Neighbours seem to love their power tools and home renovations on days like these. FML. #
  • Xaunder-Moon Guard. Do it. http://yfrog.com/jp55rvj #
  • It appears I'm on the market for a new ISP, @Telstra replied and don't want to play fair: http://bit.ly/bWFY5a So, ISPs, I'm open to offers! #
Posted: October 10th, 2010
Categories: twitter
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Why I Pay 50% of my @Telstra Bill (Open Letter to @Bigpond)

I recently got a nice little suspension notice from Telstra for my ADSL2+ service, demanding I pay the full overdue amount by the 9th of October or face suspension and a $59 re-activation fee. So I figured an open letter to Telstra would be in everyone’s best interest given that my ‘personal affairs’ with all issues with consumerism are generally what I feature on my blog. My account number is 204 6653 110, the bill is A 246 258 723-0.

Telstra have, compared to other ISPs, done really well in managing issues for me, as long as I don’t have to call their tech support department which is outsourced, understaffed, and of such inferior quality an answering machine would provide the same services and pass on great savings to the consumer.

That being said, I have paid my bill from commencement to the total of 50% of the billed amount for internet services. Why? Because I’m only getting 50% of the speed I should be getting. My contract stipulates (Telstra: Check user file notes on sign up.) that the service will be @20MBPS. At present, I am connected at 10MBPS, which is a fairly high speed compared to previous experiences. Several technicians and come and gone, numerous tickets have been filed with tech support, however I am still not able to reach ADSL2+ speeds.

In 1998 the ADSL standard emerged at 12MBPS. The ADSL2+ standard (ITU G.992.5/M) is 24 MBPS down 3.5 up, with maximum falloff of 4MBPS at extremity from DSLAM. What that means in English is, the standard is designed to allow for loss over distance, however the ‘distance’ is 7km, I’m 3km’s from the DSLAM, and the maximum loss over 7km is 4MBPS. Thus, I should be able to connect at 22MBPS if Telstra aren’t choking the connection and if the line quality is ‘perfect’ as per their last several technicians sent on site.

I will continue to pay 50% of the bill, and will consider suspension to be an outright breach of contract and reserve the right to pursue recovery of paid amounts on grounds that the contract was void ab initio as the minimum required speeds were a clearly noted term of the contract. I would, however, be happy to begin paying 100% of the bill should Telstra meet the requirements of the contract and provide 100% of the bandwidth.

As a show of good faith, I recommend perhaps a bridged connection or a loop extender is one optional method of resolving this issue, also ensuring that the shaping that Telstra apply at the DSLAM is removed (you currently shape up to 7 MBPS off most users connections to allow for more connections to your DSLAM).

Addendum: I received a reply from Telstra on this issue, their resolution is if you don’t like it leave. At least that’s the summary I took from it, it’s attached in full below.

Reply from Telstra:

Hi Lex

Thank you for taking the time to contact me in relation to the speed of your ADSL 2+ service.

I can certainly appreciate how this matter is frustrating Lex and also that you feel you are within your rights to pay half of your services fees based on the fact that the speed of your service is not what you expect it to be. The balance on your account at the moment is $593.63 and if you have been advised that the service will become disconnected, then I suggest you contact our Credit Management team to make either a payment or a payment extension. This team can be contacted directly on 132200 and are available to take your call between 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

As much as I can understand the reasons behind not paying the full amount on your bill, I do also need to bring to your attention that the speeds of our services are never sold as absolute. This is supported in our customer terms and conditions which directly advise that all speeds are up to, the terms also outline that you are responsible for paying the full amount for your service as agreed on sign up. There is no agreement recorded on your account to suggest that you can pay half price for your service proportional to the speed achieved.

I can however confirm that notes on your account indicate a case manager, Angie, offered to waive the break of contract fees if you were not happy with the speed of your service. This offer was made on the 4th of March 2010 and the only proviso was that you attempt to contact Technical Support to attempt to resolve this issue, which you have done.

A full copy of our Customer Terms can be found at:

http://www.telstra.com.au/customerterms/bigpond/bigpond_general.htm

Please let me know if there is any further information that I can provide.

Thank you for choosing Telstra.

Kind regards,

Stephen
Social Media Team
www.telstra.com

Posted: October 7th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought
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Panasonic Handheld & Battlestar Galactica Online MMORPG!

Nearly 15 years after the demise of the 3DO, Panasonic is breaking back into gaming hardware with a new handheld dubbed The Jungle, designed specifically for online gaming and MMOs.

Details are limited at the moment, but according to reports from Gizmodo, Crunch Gear, and others, The Jungle will feature a full QWERTY keyboard, dual d-pads, shoulder buttons, and a touchpad. The design resembles some of Nintendo’s earlier handhelds, namely the Game Boy Advance, with a clamshell enclosure that allegedly sports a high-resolution display.

Specific technical elements of the device have not been announced, though it is believed that it will be based on Linux, feature HDMI output, and possibly even incorporate 3G networking.

Currently only one game has been confirmed for The Jungle; a new MMO called Battlestar Galactica Online. A web show named Online Underground has also been linked to the device, produced by Machinima.com.

Yes. Battlestar Galactica Online. The reimagined badass epic version, that, if you haven’t already seen in it’s entirety you should downlo… go and buy and watch immediately before any other geek or fellow nerd realises you’re a faker.

Below, the wonders of BGO trailer: -


A website for The Jungle has been established, though information is scarce aside from a short teaser video.

Again, these reports are currently unconfirmed and official details from Panasonic have not been released, so stay tuned for updates.

Read more: http://au.gear.ign.com/articles/112/1125473p1.html#ixzz11U8eoDKx

Posted: October 5th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games
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Weekly Tweets for 2010-10-03

  • TEST: #X24 artificial emergency global event response tests global reach of social networks, http://bit.ly/Exer24 #
  • I've favourited a YouTube video — Katy Perry sings "Hot N Cold" with Elmo on Sesame St… http://youtu.be/YHROHJlU_Ng?a #
  • Greater Union / Event Cinemas don't let you DOWNGRADE from gold class tickets, absolutely ridiculous customer service. #
  • I want a RealD passive 3D setup at home not a super expensive for inferior quality setup. Consumers are suckers when it comes to 3D. 🙁 #
  • I'm sick of sooky song segments in shows like Stargate: Universe and House; if your story runs 5 minutes short end it, no more lame music. #
  • Just got a look at the 2011 Ford FPV GT Falcon, and I've got to say it's about time they look as overpowered as they drive. Gorgeous car! #
  • Becka on The Colony proves models make the apocalypse sexy by wearing barely anything, and doesn't get raped in a survival situation! #
Posted: October 3rd, 2010
Categories: twitter
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