Here I go again

Pete horse 1950

Me on my hobby horse  c1950.

I wasn’t going to get on my hobby horse again, but I can’t resist.

It seems Mr Simon Birmingham, while he had ministerial authority, took it on himself to reject some research grant proposals after they had been approved by the relevant vetting body of academics. He assessed them by their titles as being frivolous and not rigorous enough. So now they are going to have to pass a further test, the National Interest Test. So that makes him the Head NIT.


These have come in quick succession.

Speaking at Sweden Game Conference 2018, former Telltale narrative designer Emily Grace Buck says it’s time for a “really serious conversation about potentially starting a union”.

The backstory is that software game developers wherever they are, including in Australia, regularly work 12hr days or longer, sometimes 6 or 7 days a week, for no extra pay. They burn out. So the idea has dawned that maybe they need to form a union. Yes indeed.

And more evidence has come out that it is very common in this country for farmers and fruit and vegetable growers to exploit backpackers and casual workers at rates far below the minimum wage. They are blackmailed by the bosses holding passports as “security”, then charging high rent fees for their accommodation and other illegal practices. You know the story, but figures have been released showing that at least 70% of workers are being exploited this way.

This is what unions do if people will belong, support these workers by application of the law. telling them of their rights and dealing with these ruthless employers. If only the workers will join.


So I’ve joined ALP. I’ve finally put my money where my mouth is. I tried to join a couple of times back in the ’90s, but something went wrong both times and my application didn’t go through. Now it has. I think I get my sheriff’s badge and baseball bat next week.


I’ve had an email threat to ransom me by locking up my computer. The trouble is, by the time I found the email in my Spam folder, the deadline date had passed and nothing happened. Try this for size:

How it was:
In the software of the router to which you were connected that day, 
there was a vulnerability.
I first hacked this router and placed my malicious code on it.
When you entered in the Internet, my trojan was installed on the operating 
system of your device.

After that, I made a full dump of your disk (I have all your address book, 
history of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and addresses of all 
your contacts).

A month ago, I wanted to lock your device and ask for a small amount of 
money to unlock. But I looked at the sites that you regularly visit, 
and came to the big delight of your favorite resources.
I'm talking about sites for adults.

I want to say - you are a big pervert. You have unbridled fantasy!

After that, an idea came to my mind. I made a screenshot of the intimate 
website where you have fun (you know what it is about, right?).
After that, I took off your joys (using the camera of your device). 
It turned out beautifully, do not hesitate.

I am strongly belive that you would not like to show these pictures to 
your relatives, friends or colleagues.
I think $948 is a very small amount for my silence.
Besides, I spent a lot of time on you!

I accept money only in Bitcoins.

He’s talking rubbish about the “adult” sites, and nothing happened. I’ve made a full backup of my C drive and a rescue disk anyway, so I’m ready.

Then a few days ago the landline phone rang. By the time I got it to my ear, some woman with an American accent was saying “… have detected a threat to your router. Press 1 to reset or 2 to hang up.”

I didn’t know what to choose and a few seconds later the phone call ended. Nothing further happened. I don’t know whether it was a genuine automated call from iiNet or some other prank call. Weird.


I use video editing software called Canopus Edius. A few days ago I had the idea to look on YouTube to see if there was anything about it. Boy, was there!

How about 131 clips, totalling 10.7GB and with a total running time of 21hrs 21mins. And that’s just the ones in English. There are hundreds more in Hindi, Urdu and Tugulu (and funny, they are all about using stolen versions of the software, called the “crack” versions. Pakistani and Indian, all.)

Now I’ve got to try and absorb all this knowledge. It’s good stuff if I can organise it all.


I’ve never been clear about the difference between turtles and tortoises. I heard a radio talk about it a few days ago.

Turtles have webbed feet, live in water and although air breathing, don’t venture far onto the shore of water bodies. Tortoises are land animals, have separate toes and go to water bodies to drink, but otherwise dwell on dry land. So now I know.


I’ve noticed that whenever I park at underground carparks at the shops, the scrape marks on the concrete poles are nearly always red paint. I wonder why. Maybe it’s all the Ferraris.



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