Caveat emptor


It seems Apple is developing an electric car. Oh goody. If it’s anything like their computers, this may be the product description:

Apple’s new electric car will be out soon, but will have only one door. The batteries will last about two years and will not be replaceable, you’ll have to buy a new car. The in-dash display will only have one button and will be operated by hand gestures. There will only be one pedal, and forward or reverse speed will be set by two finger gestures. The car’s brain will talk to you periodically, at any time, so you’d better be listening.

The car’s O/S will automatically update itself, possibly while you’re driving. It will be offered at first with four wheels, but they plan to reduce the number of wheels in future models. Steering wheel is an extra cost option, as are lights, seats, engine, windscreen and brakes. Any service not conducted by an Apple registered mechanic will render the car permanently inoperable. No service will be available after the life of the vehicle. The service life is at our discretion. No communication will be entered into. You will enjoy your car. You will.

PS: it will be called the Jonathan and will come in only one colour, brushed aluminium.



I watched a TV program over the last two nights, called The Impossible, on SBS. It runs two hours. The title doesn’t tell you much, but it’s a telemovie about a family caught at a resort at Kao Lak in Thailand when the earthquake and tidal wave occurred on Boxing Day in 2004.

What a movie! It was brilliant. It’s a Spanish/French cooperation, but starring Naomi Watts and Ewan MacGregor, in English.

What I can’t understand is how they did the effects. The shots of the tidal wave crashing over the resort and the devastation over a wide area are totally realistic, and totally matched to the look of the film. I mean, it definitely does not look like 2004 vision cut into this modern production, yet the effects look incredibly real. How did they do it?


If it’s computer generated, then it’s the best CGI I’ve ever seen. The camera widens out to show areas of many square kilometres of devastation, and the wave demolishing the beachfront hotel looked totally massive.

PS: one of my readers has very kindly pointed to a Wikipedia article on how this movie was made. It is done with models and computer effects. Of course, it must have been, but what a great job. It fooled me.

When they do the close ups of the people being swept underwater and tumbled, you find yourself holding your breath. Then after the wave recedes and they’re trudging through mud and broken trees, it’s real mud and real trees, over wide areas in shot. How did they do it?

The performances are understated and superb. I found myself gripping the seat cushions, it was so realistic. Naomi collects some severe wounds and they look very gory. At one stage in the hospital she opens her eyes and they’re convincingly bloodshot. The acting of the four young boys is fantastic. The eldest son looks really frightened.

I’ve edited out the commercials and I’ll save this for another viewing, it’s so good.


I’m about to write a letter to the Director, Security Services, Public Transport Authority after I got a parking ticket last Friday.

I’m going to say, “Unfair! A $50 fine when my Seniors Card tap-and-go didn’t work and the usual parking fee is $2 is excessive!”

I parked at Butler train station and tapped my pre-paid card on the parking “robot”. The first attempt produced a string of beeps and an error message on the LCD. I tried a second time and there were three beeps, the LCD message went blank and that was it. I thought I’d done the deal.

So to find a $50 fine when I got back is too much. First, if their machine produces errors, that’s not my fault. I thought I’d logged on. Anyway, as a Senior, my parking is free!  Second, why would I try to avoid paying such a small amount. It was plainly a mistake or error. They should be able to examine their electronic log to see that I did use my card.

So $50! It’s cruel. It’s unnecessary. This is a remote parking area, and it’s never 100% full. To pay the wages of a parking inspector to raise these fines is over the top.

Wish me luck.


I’ve been attracting a few followers to this blog in the past few months and I thank you very much. But some of them, when I click on About, take me to an advertising login screen for some kind of web service. Sorry, but no thanks. If you show me who you are, instead of just showing some business name, I’ll welcome you, but otherwise, no.


Off to that island paradise again next week, the fifth trip this year. It makes a big difference to have someone there to greet me and I’m looking forward to a Xmas and New Year’s Eve with my partner. It’s been a long time coming!