Saturday, December 30, 2006

Paul and Sandy's Christmas Gig

For the last 8 years Paul Champion and Sandy Cenin have teamed up to play a Christmas show for their friends at the Prince Albert Hotel. Having been living overseas for all of that time I never got a chance to see them until this year.

The above vid was shot on my mobile phone, hence the rotten quality, but hey - that's what blogging is all about eh.



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trying out Azureus


I just downloaded Azureus sort of like YouTube ot Google Video but in a standalone application rather than being web based. It used the BitTorrent system as an underlying transport architecture so in theory should be much faster than other online video systems. Like Google Video it allows high res versions of your films and has no file size or length limits.

The film I've just uploaded was shot and edited by me in 2004 and documents my usual trip back then to work before I started cycling to Hoofddorp every day. Now I live in Australia and work for Carbon Planet so I guess I should actually make an updaed version of this. The music was written and composed by me too.

Enjoy - Dave

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Speed queens.

How the Danes are tackling their speeding driver problem. Wonderful idea.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The places I've been

Countries I have visited are highlighted in red.

create your own visited countries map.

So I've visited about 1 country in 10 on this planet. Plenty left to go.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hacking your identity made easy.

Guardian writer Steve Boggan and a friendly 'cracker' had some fun with the new british biometric passports.
Six months ago, with the help of a rather scary computer expert, I deconstructed the life of an airline passenger simply by using information garnered from a boarding-pass stub he had thrown into a dustbin on the Heathrow Express. By using his British Airways frequent-flyer number and buying a ticket in his name on the airline's website, we were able to access his personal data, passport number, date of birth and nationality. Based on this information, using publicly available databases, we found out where he lived, his profession, all his academic qualifications and even how much his house was worth.

This is pretty scary news but the full article gets even scarier. He was able to very simply crack the chip in the new biometric passports and pull out all sorts of data.
"I was amazed that they made it so easy," Laurie says. "The information contained in the chip is not encrypted, but to access it you have to start up an encrypted conversation between the reader and the RFID chip in the passport.

"The reader - I bought one for £250 - has to say hello to the chip and tell it that it is authorised to make contact. The key to that is in the date of birth, etc. Once they communicate, the conversation is encrypted, but I wrote some software in about 48 hours that made sense of it.

"The Home Office has adopted a very high encryption technology called 3DES - that is, to a military-level data-encryption standard times three. So they are using strong cryptography to prevent conversations between the passport and the reader being eavesdropped, but they are then breaking one of the fundamental principles of encryption by using non-secret information actually published in the passport to create a 'secret key'. That is the equivalent of installing a solid steel front door to your house and then putting the key under the mat."

Within minutes of applying the three passports to the reader, the information from all of them has been copied and the holders' images appear on the screen of Laurie's laptop. The passports belong to Booth, and to Laurie's son, Max, and my partner, who have all given their permission.

Booth is staggered. He has undercut Laurie by finding an RFID reader for £174, which also works. "This is simply not supposed to happen," Booth says. "This could provide a bonanza for counterfeiters because drawing the information from the chip, complete with the digital signature it contains, could result in a passport being passed off as the real article. You could make a perfect clone of the passport."

Airport security is a bad joke. It's 100% consumer inconvenience with 0% actual safety.

Friday, November 17, 2006

50c to txt internationally!

I just received a text message from Telstra, my mobile phone service provider, saying that text messages to international numbers will go up to AU$0.50 per message from Dec 2.

50 cents! What a fucking ripoff! Just how much does it actually cost for telstra to pass on a meagre hundred bytes or so from my phone to another phone. The time has come to do something about this bullshit. We are being gouged by the phone companies. Rock on skype everywhere.

Monday, November 13, 2006

About David Hicks.

Sent to me by Thomas. Cheers mate.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Site Cafe Clique

Just a bit of fun at the Sheffield Doc/Fest

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friends don't let friends...

Australia's PM, honest John Howard, made a fascinating statement today:
Australian troops must stay in Iraq to maintain the country's friendship with the United States, Prime Minister John Howard says.

Mr Howard said he accepted responsibility and stood by the decision to commit troops to Iraq.

Speaking about Australia's alliance with the US, he said friendships were most important and tested when they came under pressure.

"And the loyalty and friends is more deeply appreciated in times of challenge, in times of difficulty," he said.

A real friend trys to stop their friends from doing stupid things. A real friend doesn't feel their friendship would be challened by disagreement. Real friends argue and fight, and stay friends because they have common history, share fundamental ideals and are bonded by real love and affection.

There's are terms for the sort of friendship Howard is talking about; 'fairweather friend' at best, 'lackey' at worst. You don't send people to kill and die in the name of friendship. John Howard is a pathetic, spineless little man.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fucking laptop thieves suck ass!

My 15" G4 Powerbook (Serial Number W844204BRGV) was stolen today along with 2 laptops belonging to my friend and his wife. The bloke next door lost 5 laptops, 3 of which belonged to his clients apparently and had not been properly backed up. Amazingly they didn't steal my brand-new 24" iMac that was sitting right next to the powerbook. They did steal my brand new black iPod (Serial number 000A27001575D152) and matching Foof Pod bag.

It sucks but at least most of my data was backed up properly and it's not a huge drama to reinstall stuff on the new 17" MacBookPro that I now have in front of me. They were out of stock of iPods in NextByte but kindly stayed open late to install extra ram and get together the bits I needed at last minute notice and let me put it all on account. Wonderful people.

I'd alwasy meant to get a new laptop through work anyway but had been putting it off until next year as my Powerbook was quite adequate, especially as it had a new battery and hard disk installed just recently, but it sure feels nice to have this little beauty. Because it's a work machine, not my personal machine, I am installing everything from scratch on it. My iMac is my new plaything. Hopefully, if insurance pays for a new mac for me, I'll get another 15" for personal use too and my wife can have it. Her 12" G4 is getting pretty long in the tooth now. I have plenty of friends who's love an old 12" G4 powerbook.

The only data I have lost is the 2000 odd words I'd written up about my wedding and honeymoon, but I can easily rewrite that. Oh and a month or so of my old email account but that's mostly just lists and crap nowadays. Hooray for once I didn't lose any photos.

Anyway iSync is whirring away now, restoring my life. Tomorrow I am off to Canberra (by train - less CO2) and we move into our new flat on Friday. It has an alarm.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya shot dead

I just read in The Guardian that Anna Politkovskaya has been shot dead. I read several of her books and she struck me as an intensly capable woman, comitted to digging up the dirty truths in the otherwise fairly undocumented Chechnian wars. She was a crusader against military and political corruption and died a horrible, if predicatble death. She is a genuine modern martyr.

The story in Russian.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Second Life my ass

I joined Second Life recently just for a play and a look around. But recently its been bugging like mad and shows no sign of ever being fixed. I've installed 3 updates since these bugs started and nothing has fixed the shattered clothing bug.

See this screen snap.

I really have no idea what is wrong or how to fix it, but it's very disappointing. Second Life is truly the MySpace of games. (That's not a compliment either.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Sultan's Eelephant comes to Antwerp

The Sultan's Elephant, by Royale Deluxe, tells the story of a time travelling girl befriended by the Sultan and his elephant. The girl and elephant are giant puppets made of wood. The Elephant weighs 50 tonnes.

Caroline and I travelled to Belgium for the weekend to see this event. See also the photos from the event on Flickr.

Tell it like it is Hugo!

From the New York Times Chavez Calls Bush ‘the Devil’ in U.N. Speech.
“Yesterday, the devil came here,” Mr. Chávez said, alluding to Mr. Bush’s appearance before the General Assembly on Tuesday. “Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.”

Then Mr. Chávez made the sign of the cross, brought his hands together as if in prayer and glanced toward the ceiling.

“Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.”

“I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday’s statement by the president of the United States,” Mr. Chávez went on. “As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.

“An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: ‘The Devil’s Recipe.’ ”

Hugo Chávez is a great man and I really wish him well. I am looking forward to visiting Venezuela as soon as my Spanish reaches a reasonable proficiency.

I wish I had a video clip of this but alas I don't. But I do have this one of Chávez denouncing bush as a donkey, a liar, and many many other names. It's great to see a world leader stand up and say what he actually thinks. So refreshing given the utter bullshit we are usually fed by our leaders.

This same story has run in the UK's The Guardian but there they also mentioned that
Delegates and leaders from around the world streamed back into the chamber to hear Mr Chávez, and when he stepped down the vigorous applause lasted so long that it had to be curtailed by the chair.

The New York Times also left out the fact that Chávez seems to be very well read. The Guardian's article begins:
Brandishing a copy of Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or survive: America's quest for global dominance, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, cemented his reputation as Washington's chief irritant yesterday with a fiery performance at the United Nations.

Enjoy — Dave.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PS3 vs. Wii - Apple Style!

Playstation 3 vs Nintendo Wii - in the style of the recent Apple ads. Love it. Okay so it's unfair to the portly, but it made me laugh.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

V for 9/11

I know it's all sort of obvious anyway, and I know there are still a few people out there who truly believe that the US Govt didn't score an own goal that day in 2001, but this vid just makes it all that more obvious eh.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

George Bush singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

George W Bush remixed to sing the U2 song Sunday Bloody Sunday - way clever.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Back Seat of my Cadillac is a Place on Earth

Music written and performed by Paul Champion, Video filmed and edited by me (Dave Sag).

Please enjoy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Buy some Carbon Credits Babs!

So now I have a blogger account, and I guess I'd better use it. I just read over at BabsToBrisbane that some lady named Barbara Haddril is trying to get from Wales to Brisbane, some 10,000 miles, without having any global warming impact. So to do that she's travelling by train to london, then bus to moscow, then train to bejing, then train to shaghai, then boat to brisbane. All that effort, and I'm sure it has its own rewards, but really just go to Carbon Planet and buy carbon credits to offset your flight. And I'm not just saying that because I am the CEO of Carbon Planet either. heck, go buy carbon credits off any qualified retailer.

If the purpose of your trip is a grand adventure then what babara is gdoing should be great fun. Moscow is one of the world's great cities and the trans-mongolian is one of those train rides I've always wanted to take myself, but don't kid yourself that this is saving the planet.

Buying carbon credits channels funds directly from polluters to de-polluters. Cheers Dave