W3C P3P IBM and other Acronyms

My brain is shot, totally and utterly shot. I’ve spent the last two work days* wrestling with the unreasoning beast that is the W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), and the horrifying Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 implementation of the same. Throw in the mindlessly brutal IBM beta release privacy statement generator and it’s a wonder I can stand upright, let alone type. Man it’s tough surfing the bleeding edge*.

On the plus side though, we now have functioning privacy statements, and (when Michael over in technical gets around to editing the HTTP headers in header_mod on the Apache server*) we’ll have compact privacy statements on our cookies, and no longer look like evil spammers when we ask people to lower their security settings.

Talking of evil spammers though, I’ve received another one of those emails promising love and happiness and delivering only disapointment and more spam*. This one is from “crushlink.com”, and informed me that not only does a mysterious “someone” have a crush on me, but that they apparently still have a crush on me. Stretching credulity even further it then gives me “a clue” – that the person involved is “between 15 and 19 years old”.

I only know one person “between 15 and 19 years old”, and as a) she’s smart and b)things are apparently going quite well with the cute guy from the video store *g*, I was highly suspicious. So I did some poking around online, and found, yup, it’s a scam. A scam set up by a certain Johann Schleier-Smith* to harvest email addresses and sell them on to Evil Spammers Inc. So people, spread the word about crushlink.com! Or launch a denial of service attack. Either way.

Nothing much else is going on. Spent an enjoyable afternoon sheltering from the 33 degree heat* in a cafe in Mt Lawley with Rebecca and Dom on Saturday, but apart from that, nothing. Ho hum. I probably need to get out more πŸ™‚


Woo-hoo! Just checked the machine (I hardly ever get any calls, so I don’t check it on walking in as a matter of habit) and my Shivaree CD is here. Yey!

That’s all.

* OK, there was a weekend in between, but my brain is still shot.

* Yes, I know P3P hasn’t been bleeding edge for at least a year, but c’mon, allow me an enjoyable mixed metaphor for once.

* Yes! It’s techno-geek buzz-word bingo!

* If one was foolish enough to fall for it, which I’m not πŸ™‚

* Allegedly allegedly allegedly allegedly allegedly (say it enough times and it acts as a charm to ward off lawyers) allegedly allegedly allegedly.

* Heat, not Masons. A cafe won’t keep them away.


I happened to catch the begining of Girl Interupted on Sunday night. Winona Ryder has an opening mononlogue where she asks “Have you ever stolen anything, even though you could afford it?”. Oh how I laughed!

Then some 16 year old rappers tried to intimidate me on the train. They failed miserably πŸ™‚

I found some corn holder things! Giant ones! Yey!

Assorted Garbage

I’m not going to talk about Bali πŸ™

I had an interesting morning yesterday, sitting in a mechanical chair while bursts of high energy photons were shot through my cheeks. No, it wasn’t some kind of bizzare science experiment, I was at the dentist for my six monthly checkup having my teeth x-rayed.

I don’t understand why people seem to be so terrified of going to the dentist. Well, actually I do, it’s because they stupidly wait until there’s something wrong before going, so end up needing dozens of fillings all done at once. If you go for a checkup every six months, then there’s nothing to fear, because any problems can be caught early. If you do need a filling, it’s only a very shallow one and the whole job will be over in ten minutes. Heck, you don’t even need anaesthetic…

Well, OK you probably do. I* just have a far greater phobia of people sticking needles into my gums than I do of the momentary pain of having a tooth drilled. Even when they have to drill right down to the nerve it’s not too bad so long as you keep your mind on something else. The only tough bits are when the assistant runs the air puffer over the hole – that feels kind of like someone bashing a supercooled icicle through the tooth and into your jaw with a sledgehammer. But come on, it’s only for a few seconds, and once it’s over you can at least eat, drink and talk nomally. Well worth it I think.

Anyway overall I’ve had a fairly healthy week for once. Last Saturday (uh… not yesterday, the one before that) I went up to Fabian’s for some AD&D playtesting. In a bid to actually get some exercise I decided that rather than call for a lift from the Midland terminal I’d walk up to his place. Which I did without any major difficulties. It’s only about five kilometres, and apart from the last one it’s all flat. Then I won at Trivial Pursuit, which was gratifying πŸ™‚

Then on Friday I needed to get my tax done, and get renting the unit sorted out (yup, I’m renting the place, this way I don’t have to worry about moving for the next six months at least :). So I got up early and walked into Maylands to the tax agent. Unfortunately as soon as they called up my records the entire computer system crashed (apparently it didn’t like my HECS debt*) so I had to leave my receits and things with them with a promise that they’d process them as soon as they got the network back up. So from there I walked up to Beaufort Street and into Mount Lawley to the real estate agency. Unfortunately I was a good two hours early, so I ducked into a bookshop I found hidden away next to the Astor and bought a couple of books. I then sat on a bench outside and read them while munching on chicken flavoured rice crackers, which is a quite salubrious way to spend a few hours.

Anyway once my appointment rolled around it didn’t take too long to get the rental agreement sorted out, so I walked back home via Walcott Street. A total round distance of close on seven kilometres.

So, in the last week I’ve walked roughly twelve kilometres more than usual. Too bad I have no motivation to do that every week πŸ™‚

On the subject of walking though, I’ve been seized by an insane urge to walk at least part of the Bibbulmun Track. The motivation for this is undoubtedly Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods which I read last week. This is Bill’s account of his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail (the longest wilderness walking track in the world) with an overweight, reformed alcoholic schoolfriend named Katz. Since most of the book is about how appaling the conditions are, the horrible people they were forced to endure along the way, the danger of being eaten by bears and how after months of effort they managed to cover less than a third of it before giving up, I have no idea why this would inspire anyone to try and do something similar. But nonetheless it has had that effect on me. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about bears*.

Anyway in an odd bit of synchronicity I went for a wander around Bassendean* after having my teeth irradiated and found a very cool book exchange. That’s not synchronicitous in itself of course, there are cool book exchanges all over the place if you look. What was synchronicitous was that in the downstairs section there was a prominantly displayed official guidebook to the northern half of the Bibbulmun Track going out for only eight dollars. The only way this could have been more of a sign was to have a bright light shining down and angelic choirs singing, so naturally I purchased it. It’s pretty good, plenty of maps, elevation diagrams of each section, and even highly detailed walking instructions for the entire northern track (like “proceed down the slope 200 metres and turn left at the burnt tree, no not that one, the one on the left”). Considering Bill’s complaints about the pathetic maps for the Appalachian Trail I feel seriously spoiled.

So yeah, it will probably come to nothing (like most of my plans) but for now I’m going to walk the Bibbulmun track damnit! *g*

(If* I change my mind I can always post the book off to Mr Bryson with a note attached saying “Look! No Bears!” It might inspire another book πŸ™‚

Thats all I’ve got to say. Over and out.

* Being insane

* Think student loans people

* Apparently male Emus can be pretty dangerous in the breeding season though. How about that?

* Not just the location of my Dentist, but the home of Rolf Harris!

* By which I mean “when”

Billy Idol

Is this funny or what? πŸ˜€

There are three football codes in Australia, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League and Rugby Union. Aussie Rules can be told apart from the Rugby codes fairly easily, AFL players wear tighter shorts, don’t run with the ball as much and the goal posts are completely different. The difference between League and Union however is a mystery lost somewhere in the vague hinterlands between Sydney and Brisbane. A mere Sandgroper can’t even begin to grasp it.

The reason I mention this is that yesterday (Sunday) was the NRL (Rugby League) Grand Final. It was between the Roosters (who may or may not be from Sydney, I don’t know and can’t really be bothered to find out) and the Warriors, from New Zealand (rugby is completely ridiculed outside of Queensland and New South Wales, so the league roped in some Kiwi teams to make up the numbers).

Anyway, Grand Finals demand grand entertainment. Unfortunately the league couldn’t manage this, and decided to make do with Billy Idol.

I kid you not, Billy Idol. Yes. Him.

So, they flew him out at enORMOus expense, held all sorts of press conferences, and to get the whole thing moving on the day, brought him into the stadium riding on a hovercraft* while the opening chords of White Wedding boomed around the stadium courtesy of the house band performing on the central stage.

So, Billy zooms around the field a few times, then hovers up to the stage where he struts up to the microphone in true rock star style*. “ARE THERE ANY ROOSTERS FANS HERE?!” he yells. “YEAAAHHHH!!!!!” scream the crowd dementendly. “ARE THERE ANY WARRIORS FANS HERE?!” he continues. “YEAAAHHHH!!!!!” answer the crowd even more dementedly. “DO YOU LOVE FOOTY?!?” he bawls. “YEAAAHHHH!!!!!” howl the crowd, now losing it completely. Billy gives a punk style sneer, grabs the microphone….. and the entire stage goes black and the band fall silent as the power cuts out.

Billy Idol is left standing there for five full minutes while technicians race around in the darkness screaming at each other. Then he and the band have to troop (or possibly hover) off without getting to perform, as the NRL powers that be have sent down the word that they have a game to play, they’re not prepared to wait any longer, and get those damn musicians off the field!

Now, I have nothing against Billy Idol. I sing along to Rebel Yell when it comes on the radio just the same as the next guy*. But come on! Could the timing possibly have been better πŸ™‚

* I am not making this up.

* Somehow.

* Assuming the next guy is also a total dork.

Saurian Ravings

Halloween is coming, and I don’t care πŸ™‚

Here in Australia, or Perth at least, no one makes a big fuss about All Hallow’s Eve. If you know someone who’s seriously into partying, they might take advantage of the night to throw a bash (with costumes naturally), but that’s about it. If you’re smart you might buy a few packets of lollies (that’s candy for Americans and other such dialectally divergent folk πŸ™‚ just in case someone turns up trick or treating, but you’ll probably end up eating them yourself because it’s just not a tradition down here. Halloween is basically just another night.

The reason I’m thinking about this is that the net seems to be going Halloween ballistic. The email newsletters I subscribe to are suddenly packed to the gills with all sorts of Halloweeny content. The sites I visit are pushing all sorts of Halloween related deals and offers. There are special offers on costumes, pages and pages of ‘traditional’ pumpkin recipes, advice on how to throw the perfect Halloween party. There are even specially designed costumes for babies, a concept so deranged that I find it difficult to comprehend. I completely fail to see how any sane person could think that dressing their infant up as a pumpkin would be a good idea. Those Yankees are craaazeee!

Their online stores are good though, which is why I’ve just ordered some books from Amazon. As a geek with pretensions of linguistic grandure, I thought it was high time I actually learnt some Latin, so I’ve ordered a few textbooks. I mean I already know some Latin, you can’t be an intelligent English speaker and not pick up some large chunks of the language, but I’d like to formalise my knowledge. They were dispatched on Friday, and should be here within eleven days. Or so they say…

As regards my last foray into the world of online shopping however, I thought for a while there that I would have to go all grim and burn down the Sanity store in Hay Street. They did give me my promised refund. However it was a refund for $8.27. As the actual amount they charged me for not delivering my Shivaree CD was $30.33, this left me round about $22.06 in the lurch. I sent them off a rather terse email to this effect, and much to their credit they quickly refunded the rest of the money, but still. It makes me wonder if they’ve been short changing me in-store all these years as well.

But I’m not too annoyed, as I just managed to get my hands on a copy of the remarkably rare Corrupt and Immoral Transmissions promo CD the band put out some years back on eBay (that is I got my hands on it on eBay, the band didn’t release a CD exclusively on eBay, although that could be a neat promotional trick). I am yet to actually pay for it, as Paypal seems to be down for maintenance at the most inconvenient times, but I’ll get it done this afternoon. Then (after several weeks of waiting no doubt) I’ll finally be able to listen to the tracks Scrub and the band’s cover of My Boy Lollypop, which should be um….. interesting, given Ambrosia’s unique vocal talents.

Channel 9 broadcast Dinotopia as a mini-series this week, and I taped it. I finished watching it last night, although frankly I don’t know why. The effects were great. Yes, that’s what I’ll claim, I watched it for the effects. I certainly couldn’t have been watching it for the plot, script or acting, which were in various degrees predictable, clich

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