Cellophane cellphones reveal
our hatred for them
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has today reversed existing company policy regarding employees working from home. From June all employees will have to show up at the office in a decision that goes contrary to current thinking on this type of working arrangement.
A wealth of reputable research indicates that working from home increases productivity and this is backed by the experiences of major international entities that encourage the practice. The system saves employer costs such as office space, energy etc. and saves the employee commuting time and expense, and in some cases childcare costs and allows greater personal flexibility. Continue reading →
My TV channel count is gone up to a much-duplicated 55 but 8 are actually radio channels. “WTF is SBS Radio doing thinking it’s a TV station?” asks Melbourne comedian Dave Hughes in his raucous new live stand-up act. And he’s right! Slyly infiltrating my Electronic Program Guide (EPG) using an alias like ABC Dig exceeds the duplicity of the pirate radio station I was once part of way back in the North Sea radio heydays when I fancied myself as their landlubbing prosopopoeia. But this is legal – though it seems somewhat incestuous. Or at the very least a bit bi.
Imagine all those poor, what…viewers? listeners? – the ‘populi bewilderus’ who just sit there listening to watching the music and waiting for a phantom TV show to start with the patience of Ratzinger’s gay admirer. Continue reading →
Social networks bring people together but like any gathering, the time comes to split. People move on, just like they did from Bulletin Boards, from Chat Rooms and from My Space. QED, historical analysis proves Facebook’s imminent and scheduled demise. The argument is put that users will always need Facebook to contact their friends but that’s what they said about the phonebook. The pendulum on Facebook’s fifteen fleeting minutes of fame has been winding down since it reached its zenith in May 2012 when its ownership went public.
Mark Zuckerberg is a talented man but he is not a businessman. His forte rises above mere commerce. Yet he presided over the halving of Facebook’s share price following the most overhyped IPO since Noah floated the Ark. I won’t delve into the apocryphal IPO debacle here but given the result that the original stakeholder(s) raked in bazillions of dollars in cash that day, I believe that the IPO marked the Facebook mission as ‘Accomplished’. The owners cashed out, regardless of what was to happen afterwards. Any shares they kept could be used as confetti because the overpriced issue on that May day got them twice what it should have. Continue reading →
By Yahtzee Croshaw
As a young father I quickly learned that when offered a toy telephone handset by a 3 year old I was in fact being invited into a world more enjoyable by far than my allotted one. Then, twenty years later, when the former 3 year old hands me a book of his to read, my instinctive reaction is once again to view it as an invitation into a world that I will probably find as enjoyable as the telephone chatting of those Ogygian days. Despite the cover. The puce green cover. Of a Zombie running amok.
English born but Australian based Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw is a 30 year old writer known principally for his contributions and editorial roles in video game magazines and websites. He enjoys cult status for the caustic, comical presentation of his Zero Punctuation video game reviews published by The Escapist. Mogword is his debut novel.
The hero (“I’m not a hero, I’m a protagonist”) protagonist is Jim, a recently disentombed Zombie who’s quite miffed about his unexpected resurrection and longs to return to his safe and peaceful grave. His world is now inhabited by a continually resurrecting populace who are unable to die permanently. The story plays out as a farcical, dark comedy on Jim’s avidity to achieve his desired everlasting extinction. Continue reading →
The legislation in place to protect patents seems to have been around since Noah invented bulk livestock carriers. But it hasn’t provided safe harbour since the great ship of modern technology let slip her moorings on the day the music of the rotary-dial telephone died.
Critical junctures such as this one tend to happen cyclically over the eons. Mankind usually trims the sails to manage the winds of change but in this instance there is gale force resistance to changing tack. Historical lessons that prove the benefit of pulling together rather than standing apart are forgotten. Nobody remembers how the Wright brothers destroyed their reputations by defending their patent for aircraft flight control until the American government had to step in to allow the allied air forces equip themselves for World War 1. Continue reading →
Rand’s mind was conditioned in pre-revolutionary Russia and honed in the USA. Having been witness to the bloody birth of Communism, then migrating to the most capitalistic country on Earth, it is no great leap to understand how her mind works; in a nutshell – Socialist bad, Capitalist good. She built an empirical philosophy based on this (which even enjoyed some popular support for a time) but the obvious flaw to her idealistic cause was its undemocratic core (it favours Meritocracy). Even in plutocratic America such radical thought finds little long-lasting purchase. With the dilution of Communism that has taken place worldwide since the book was published in 1957 her dogma could be considered simplistic, idealistic and impractical. That said, Rand does successfully draw attention to some of the flaws that persist in liberal and socialistic thinking and her arguments towards the acceptance of personal responsibility, self-sufficiency and a high work ethic, are commonly accepted and adopted today.
The setting is a dystopian USA where an undefined event has caused changes that result in a communist-style government. Orwellian pigs govern from Washington and citizens are brainwashed to become almost drone-like. Continue reading →
The current Australian national reading initiative seems little different to the many similar promotions that have preceded it. What sets it apart for me is its synchroneity with the announcement that Encyclopaedia Britannica will no longer produce their illustrious and time-honoured 32-volume publication. This concurrence prompts me to finally relax my Canutian resistance to the sea of eBooks. This inevitable and tremulous personal milestone will mark my participation in the National Year of Reading 2012.
Before I take the plunge however, Continue reading →
That mind was once quite good at mental math,
Could translate quelque French without computer,
Now it’s happy birthday Google – thirteen years.
Where once before I’d browse my cranial depths,
I now browse search results to find an answer.
No longer do I need my mind to think.
At times your seeming godly omniscience
Tempts me to genuflect, devotion offer.
Felicem Natum Google – XIII annus.
Enlightenment, intelligence and learning
Are at my touch yet faint suspicions linger
That no longer do I need my mind to think.
Worse! Seated search – unlike my former pacing,
Makes waistline grow and clothes pinch even tighter.
Sigh. Happy birthday Google – thirteen years.
No longer do I need my mind to think.