Banditry

Twitter won’t kill the general feed, cos that’d kill Twitter

Long-time Twitter users, myself included, value it mostly for the general feed (everyone you follow, live and in chronological order) and the ability to replicate the general feed model for specific lists you've made of people you follow and for specific search terms and hashtags. At the same time, Twitter is a confusing experience for … Continue reading Twitter won’t kill the general feed, cos that’d kill Twitter

Abbott, Birthers, written constitutions, judges, hilarity

Australian PM Tony Abbott was born in the UK in 1957. Being born in the UK between 1948 and 1983, he immediately became a British citizen by birth. His mother was an Australian citizen, so he also immediately acquired the right to Australian citizenship by descent. Paperwork and patriotism The law in force at the … Continue reading Abbott, Birthers, written constitutions, judges, hilarity

A Qantas of solace

Qantas announced its financial results today. Predictably, they were a car crash (Qantas still hasn't had a plane crash [*], but they're definitely a crash). $646 million operating loss, and $2.6 billion in one-off write-offs from revaluing the company's aircraft fleet. No rock and roll fun. Fiddling and burning As Qantas CEO for the last … Continue reading A Qantas of solace

$27 million a year is a bargain price to buy a government

It's been Good Times Online as Crikey gets hold of a copy of News Australia's detailed management accounts for fiscal year 2012-13 (I've uploaded a copy here, since the Crikey version, hilariously, is paywalled). As a way of demonstrating its commitment to journalism, News has threatened to sue anyone who reports on the topic. The … Continue reading $27 million a year is a bargain price to buy a government

Meanwhile, at the Festival of Russian Language Films

"We're really excited about this Russian-language film festival we'll be hosting with you guys. But, um, we're a bit uncomfortable with the fact that Putin's rights-abusing and civilian-killing government is contributing to the funding. Their grant is only GBP1,400 so it's no biggie; we're happy to make up the difference ourselves as long as you … Continue reading Meanwhile, at the Festival of Russian Language Films

Spiritus in coelum

Ad me quiescam et requiescent cum moriar Qui optimus in locum ire Mori cum cubabo Spiritus in coelum ascendere ad Spiritus in coelum ascendere ad Ibi ego ire cum moriar Ad me quiescam et requiescent cum moriar Qui optimus in locum ire Scio te oportet praeparare Obtinuit amicus Iesu Ut scias, cum morieris Ille agnus … Continue reading Spiritus in coelum

Representative democracy: a Socratic dialogue

Stolen and edited from Jim Bliss: "Representative democracy is the least bad!" - can you believe there are people who genuinely put that forward as an argument for democracy? "Look guys, we've all had a taste of the cow shit, the horse shit, the dog turd and the cat poo... and we pretty much agree … Continue reading Representative democracy: a Socratic dialogue

Why security and safety theatre is the worst

Safety and security are brilliant. Safety and security theatre is bullshit. If you support safety and security theatre measures, which includes nearly all routine airport security, you are helping to make everyone worse off and nobody safer. Whilst world-travelling over the last month, I discovered that most European carriers [1] now allow the use of … Continue reading Why security and safety theatre is the worst

Long-haul flying: we’ve never had it so adequate

Something which gets neglected by most travel writers - I think because long-haul economy-class flying is inherently a bit shit - is the immense extent to which the actually-flying bits of the long-haul rigmarole have improved over the last 15 years. The pre- and post-flying bits have worsened, of course, which makes short-haul flight far, … Continue reading Long-haul flying: we’ve never had it so adequate

Of course I’m fucking cynical, that’s why I’m alive and not in gaol

I'm not dead Mashudur Choudhury, a chap from near enough to where I grew up that it might as well be the same place, went off to Syria to die. His leaving letter to his missus went, "what good is a husband, father, brother that sits in comfort, sleeps in comfort, eats in comfort but … Continue reading Of course I’m fucking cynical, that’s why I’m alive and not in gaol