Friday, December 31, 2010

Dell upgrades Android OS for Streak and messes with camera

OK, so I have a Dell Streak, I wait patiently for the Android upgrade to version 2.2.
I get it, install all good. Camera app seems to have an improved interface. Great.

But, oh no.. I am now taking VGA snaps?? How did that happen.. when ..? And how do I change the settings back?

Poor documentation on it, rude behaviour switching the res. The settings button for changing the res brings up a menu but the part with the resolution etc is hidden, with no indicator to its existence.


To change the settings of your camera on the Dell Streak with Android 2.2:

1. Open Camera app
2. Click on the settings icon at the top
3. In the pop-up menu you will see options for contrast and brightness. But the down below there are more options, you need to slide the contrast/brightness options up to see them. Swipe the scroll menu in an upward motion to do this. Options to change Picture Size, Picture Quality, Scene type, Anti-banding (50Hz vs. 60Hz), and the Shutter Sound on/off will NOW be available.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Agribusiness and Chemical Corp's have fooled us for long enough

Lappé is critical of modern livestock feeding practices. We feed ruminants grain, she says, not because it is a food they would eat in nature, but because we want to fatten them faster. They used to convert grasses that were inedible for us into high-grade protein; but today one half of the world's grain goes, not to feed people, but to fatten animals, and it doesn't all turn into flesh. More than half of that food is is excreted by the livestock or used for energy. Lappé calls livestock animals "protein disposals" rather than "protein factories." "And now," she says, "we're performing the same disappearing trick with the world's fish supply, in fish farms, feeding fish to fish." Why have we adopted such inefficient agricultural practices? Lappé says it's because we produce for the market, not to feed the hungry: "The hundreds of millions of people who go hungry cannot create a sufficient 'market demand' for the fruits of the earth. So more and more of it flows into the mouths of livestock, which convert it into what the better-off can afford. Corn becomes filet mignon. Sardines become salmon."

[Vandana Shiva, winner of "the alternative Nobel prize" - Right Livelihood Award] point to reams of studies by universities, the UN and FAO (the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization) showing that the most productive form of agriculture is not our modern, tractor-serviced, big field monocultures, but multiple crop (termed "polyculture"), manual labor-intensive small holdings. As we've seen with water and livestock and now with agriculture, the natural physics of this planet favors variety and small, localized production. FAO charts of countries from countries like the Sudan, Nigeria and Uganda, Burma, India and Nepal all show maximum productivity on tiny farms ranging in size from between one and two hectares -- the typical peasant smallholding.

When a farm gets larger, productivity drops. In Brazil, for example, Shiva points out, "the productivity of a farm of up to 10 hectares [25 acres] was $85 per hectare, while the productivity of 500-hectare farms [1235 acres] was only $2 per hectare. In India, farms of up to 5 acres [2 hectares] had a productivity of 735 rupees per acre. while 35-acre farms [14 hectares] productivity levels were about half of that." Green Revolution methods, which need machinery, expensive chemicals and monocultures, are not suitable for smallholdings, and the heavy subsidies and government incentives that have accompanied them demand big fields. This has meant that over the past thirty or forty years, government subsidies have gone to larger, less efficient farms and agribusinesses rather than to the small, more productive farmers.

In India, Shiva says, "the displacement of varied crops, which were mixtures of cereals, legumes and oilseeds, by monocultures of High Yielding Variety (HYV) crops for export, has undermined food self-sufficiency in a drastic way." The small peasant, who concentrates on food for her family and does not fit in the cash crop package, is displaces by the subsidized, richer farmer and loses access to the food she used to grow for herself. Ironically, this loss has ended up being expressed as a food "surplus" in many national statistics. Both Indian economist V.K.R. Rao and nutritionist C. Gopalan agree with Shiva's analysis that the "surplus" food stocks that have built up in India since the Green Revolution - up from 63 million tons in 1966 to 128 million tons in 1985 -- have been created not by better yields, but by people losing access to their land and not having any money. In other words, this grain goes into warehouses because an increasing number of Indians cannot afford to buy it. Statistics also show that during this same period, "food consumption dropped from 480 grams per capita per day, in 1965, to 463 grams per day per capita in 1985." That doesn't sound as if more poor people are getting fed by industrial farming.

[..] Shiva says, "it would be no exaggeration to say that small, family-run farms are the answer to our terrible problems of declining agricultural productivity and vanishing biodiversity." When countries have pulled back from large-scale industrial farming for a variety of political and economic reason, and especially when they've also paid attention to indigenous knowledge, they have experienced benefits in terms of food production that are nothing short of astounding.

In Indonesia, subsidies for the use of pesticides were eliminated in 1987, and restrictions were introduced on the use of 57 pesticides in rice-growing. By 1990, not only had pesticide use decreased by 50 percent, but rice yields had increased by 15 percent. Farmers' net incomes increased by $18 per farmer, per season, and the government was saving $120 million a year. What's more, this $120 million of Third World money was no longer going out to enrich large chemical corporations, it became available for much-needed internal social programs. In Bangladesh, a "No Pest" program led to another reduction in pesticides use of a full 76 percent. This did not cost the country any of their rice harvest, as they' feared, but instead gave them a yield increase of 11 percent.

A United Nations Development Program project on sustainable agriculture introduced an indigenous system of raised fields that had evolved in the Altiplano of the Andes to nearby South American countries. These methods tripled and quadrupled yields in Honduras, for example, raising them from 400 kilograms per hectare to between 1,200 and 1,600 kilograms per hectare. Finally, the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based think tank, reviewed sustainable agriculture projects affecting almost two million households in the Third Worlds, and found that farmers; yields of wheat, corn and sorghum doubled when they switched from industrial, high external-input agriculture to "biodiversity-based, low-input," organic polycultures.

So, even with an extremely inefficient system -- industrial agriculture setup to benefit export markets -- we have half again as much food as we need to feed the planet. If we implemented more small polycultures, we could feed a lot more people -- and they'd have the land security they need to take care of themselves without expensive and politically and socially difficult redistribution programs. To say that small poly cultures meet the sustainability requirement of double dividends is putting it mildly. Not only have the countries which have maintained or introduced such programs saved their land and water systems from more contamination by dangerous poisons, but they have simultaneously achieved what the poisons were supposed to be doing all along: they have increased their food supply. This is so contrary to what we've been told about chemical farming for the past fifty years that we were hardly able to believe it, and we spent a great deal of research time on this question. But again and again, all around the world in every kind of agricultural production, we found that growing more food does not work the way agribusiness and the multinational chemical companies have been telling us.

Thousands of examples coming in from around the world in scientific research done by governments, NGOs and universities support the conclusion that the benefits of industrialization to farmers, both Third and First World, were not only greatly exaggerated but hid a tragic contradiction. One of the reasons that so many farmers all over the world have been forced off an increasingly degraded and poisoned landscape since agricultural industrialization first began is that, for what seemed to be very good reasons, we collectively decided to value the kinds of wealth that is created through industrialization over that created by nature.

The tragedy for people struggling to grow food, whether they are peasants in Bangladesh or wheat farmers ion South Dakota, lies clearly in the underlying goal of "industrialized" agriculture. It was created not to help farmers, but to provide cheap food for a growing urban population, the labor force for expanding industries. In other words, as agricultural economist John Ikerd says, "Sustainable farm profits are inherently inconsistent with industrial agriculture." Its goal is not to make farmers prosperous and keep them on the land, but to get them off. And this might help explain why the industrialization of agriculture in the Third World is causing chaos and misery, and also why its architects seem to be unmoved by that distress. They have another vision of human well-being.

Less than 2 percent of the population of the United States produces all the food, and people have to spend only about 10 cents out of every dollar to buy that food. Even more remarkably, the producer gets only one penny of those then cents, while the other nine cents go to the marketing and chemical companies.
extract from Good News for a Change by David Suzuki and Holly Dressel

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Easter Bunny -- why

Despite its Christian veneer Easter is a pagan festival which celebrates Eostre, the European goddess of fertility who loaned her name to oestrogen and the oestrous cycle. The rabbit and egg were chosen by the ancestors of the Europeans as symbols of fertility.
extract from - The Future Eaters

The true costs of farming

Big Operations, for example, operate with a skeleton crew of perhaps four people in charge of producing 50,000 pigs a year; the pigs are overcrowded, under cared for and must be fed hormones and antibiotics in such an environment, or the overcrowding and stress will cause infections and keep them from eating properly. This causes a serious rise in cost for society, in terms of increased cancers and other diseases in a human population that ingests the hormones and antibiotics that are fed to the pigs.

It also leads to the contamination of rural soil and watercourses by the high concentrations of manure and the undesirable chemicals in the manure. Almost none of the expenses such practices entail are reflected in the producers' costs or the final consumer price. That means, for example, that pork produced in eastern Canada and the United States, which is habitually sold overseas to Asian markets, is subsidized not just by national governments, but by cash-strapped rural taxpayers in Quebec, Alberta, North Carolina, Georgia or anywhere else there is a concentration of industrial hog farms.

If the true costs were added, no producer could afford to shoulder them and continue to raise meat in such an environmentally damaging way. They would have to adapt existing, healthy methods that make the meat somewhat more expensive but a lot less dangerous, provide more rural jobs and have an actual moral base.
extracted from Good News for a Change - David Suzuki & Holly Dressel (pg 65)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RSS Feeds and Google Reader

It's all there in Google, so you don't need other software when on the road.

Google Reader aggregates your Syndicated content for you.

Some pics to guide you:

G-Reader step 01

G-Reader Step 01

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tree listing - bash scripts/commands for OS X

ok I was wanting to view my music directories and found this lovely command

find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g' | grep -v DS_Store

at Murhpy's wonderful site.

piping it to the grep -v removes the .DS_Store files
grep --help for more info


Friday, September 10, 2010

Politics - win or lose

I believe I heard Mr Abbot say something like "We lost (or failed), we didn't maintain a good enough dialogue (conversation?)." (Please feel free to inform me of the correct wording)

My feeling is that it is not a failure for a political party to not come first.
It is if you're thinking of the job you didn't get, or the policy you didn't put through to a final bill. If you're just thinking about yourself and your party. What if you're thinking about the whole country/populace?

If the reason for an election is to see what issues are important to the [majority of] people, to see what way they are thinking and what policies they want to see enacted, then there is no fail.

It has to be a win that the majority view simply becomes evident after the counting of votes finishes.

What matters to the average punter? Well supposedly the vote count gives us an idea of which items share the most 'alike thinkers/voters'.

Any election should be a win, but what really decides that is if the contenders are actually discussing important issues. Or wasting our time worrying about a handful of refugees for example.



Monday, September 06, 2010

Converting Multimedia (Sound & Video) files

SUPER, Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer. A GUI to ffmpeg, mencoder, mplayer, ffmpeg2theora & the theora/vorbis RealProducer plugIn. If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER © is all you need. Supports most video formats and also portable formats for PSP, Nintendo DS, PS3, iPod, Zune, PocketPC and NEC, Nokia, Siemens, SonyEricsson mobiles.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saving streaming video

Sick of waiting to re-download that video you want to show someone? You can grab Flash Layer Videos (ie. the type of content that youtube sends you) from your temp directory, on a PC, using Video Cache Viewer
worked for me anyways =)


iPod to PC copy

Want to get your music tracks onto the computer (after reinstalling your OS) ..
I found CopyTrans did the job nicely enough.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Political jousting

Well I wonder who's gonna be top dog next with things seemingly so close between Labor and Liberal for the 2010 election.

I just wish they would stop whining about all the things they each do wrong and start doing things RIGHT. All the time just worried about their jobs rather than actually doing things to look after the people they -supposedly- have a mandate from to do things.

But really we're pretty screwed with this current system. Because no one, on average seems to want to consider the population problem. Which is why I was impressed to see Dick Smith take on the subject with his "Population Puzzle" show. I believe he has a $1 million prize for the (young grr) person who comes up with a population reducing planet saving idea!

For example, let's take the Fishing Party and it's desire to see the Greens and Labor put last on the roll.

I totally support the concept of a person going out in the "tinnie" to throw a line over the side. In fact all [human] life supported itself in a similar method - ie. hunter gathering - in the past. We then got agricultural and horticultural and we then got population.

So what if the entire population of Sydney wanted to go down to the harbour, load the tinnie down the boat ramp and throw a line over the side? Fine back around the time of the "first landing" but now that there's 21+ million it's a different story. But folk don't want to discuss that story. They want to discuss their right to live as their forefathers did.

They want to live that life and, as their forefathers did, bugger the future.

To paint a more simplistic picture than the fishing one (is that possible?) how about straight family numbers. I have the right (currently, in Australia) to have as many children as I and my partner wish to bear. So let's say that's going to be 10 children. Each on of them has the same right, seeing as we are never going to change our policies based on rising population, so the next generation will be about 4 times larger. (yes this is a guess, I'm considering that half my children are females/half males and that all of them meet a person they are able to then have 10 children with, so that's 5 children per person .. blah blah)

Now if those people live in a land of finite size then obviously, at the very least, they are going to run out of living space eventually.

Oh they will live closer together, build on top of each other, defoliate forests in order to find land to grow food or raise cattle on, but time will tell. Without changing their habit they will, as most parasites that get out of control do, kill their host and/or themselves.

I found this Why doesn't a parasite kill it's host?

Far as I can see, we don't have a new host (planet) so we should probably be keeping this one alive and healthy.

And that's the problem with defoliating the forests for farmland and living areas. It's that natural acreage that's actually providing clean water/air/fertiliser(s) and filtering of our waste.

Not sure if you noticed but [manmade] sewerage treatment plants have only been around recently. Somehow the planet managed to treat the waste products and deceased bodies of all the planets animals insects etc without manmade treatment plants. Amazing! But at that time the planet didn't have cities with millions of people living together producing tons of waste daily, including many toxic chemicals, and then pumping all of that into convenient places like the ocean. Wow, guess we should mark that one up to ingenuity. What a great plan. Let's take all the things we want out of the ocean, food etc, and pump all the shit we don't want into it. See how many years we can keep that up. And to top it off we'll put so much mechanical shipping into the sea that all the creatures that communicate aurally to each other will suffer from the noise level(s).

'Contraception cheapest way to combat climate change'Contraception is almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change than conventional green technologies, according to research by the London School of Economics.
James Quinn's Instablog

Save the Planet - Wear a condom.

So this is why I think the colour we should ALL be painting our conversations is GREEN. When I mentioned this to a fellow worker (truck driver) he got upset and said that the Greens policies will practically stop us all from driving! But if driving is what's killing us (something we choose to not look at or at least never in the mainstream media) then we SHOULD STOP DRIVING! Or we should be figuring out how to build a world that we can live in. Stop the population growing and rebuild our cities and transport so that life is good. Not a rat race.

If modifying our population growth because it's a DOOMED practise means our building industry will suffer then perhaps we need to find something else to do? STOP BUILDING. How about improving our houses? Our energy costs are obviously less when houses are well insulated, when people know how to design orient and build a house .. why leave such "knowledge" just with the over charging architects. It should be everyday knowledge. All people should know what the sun does for warming, what thermal mass is, how a healthy garden STAYS healthy.

My friend has the most offensive smelling garbage I've ever had the misfortune to go near. Simply because all the animal waste gets bagged and dropped in it. There's no yard space to compost it. Not that it's a small yard but for 'maintenance' or 'aesthetic' reasons the yard's been entirely concreted! But there's 5~6 animals! What a chore, .

So many people I talk to seem unaware of how easy it is to compost food and human waste. And take a note while we're on this subject, Australians are wasting $5.2 billion worth of food each year. So for all those people whining about a few boat people I reckon we could feed them pretty easy if we weren't turning into the fattest people on the planet . Note, it takes 500 litres of water to grow 1 kilo of potatoes. Last I heard Australia was a drought plagued country. It's practically a sin to throw out any food grown here (or anywhere for that matter when you consider how rare fresh water really is on this planet).

So the choice, as usual, is with the people.

Have 10 kids.. throw out half your food.. turn a blind eye to the REASONS behind Green policies.


Death by Patent

Our attempt to put a price on intellectual property is choking us, here's an article about software patents and why the programmers asked to write them consider them a joke. And why we ALL pay the price of this legal jungle.

via @_pablo

Unfortunately, the joke is on all of us. It’s on our economy, as we let patents choke down innovation and increase fear, uncertainty, and doubt in an already uncertain time. It’s on our bottom lines, as we make busy-work for our expensive lawyers with their sparkling eyes instead of investing for the future. And it’s on our collective consciousness, as we force good and decent people to act against the better angels of their nature.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Why you want Labor's National Broadband Network

First you could listen to the ABC Radio National Program Background Briefing and figure it out, or read below:

* 40% of Australians live outside the big 5 cities. This means that private sector companies (which now includes our lost Telstra) can't be bothered to build infrastructure there as there's not enough return on investment. This is why there's a subsidy for installing satellite internet connectivity.

Therefor one company (NBN Co - the governments co.) putting in ALL the infrastructure means they can make money on the big 5 cities to help offset the price of supporting the 'rural' sector.

* being owned by the government means we break the monopoly that Telstra has as our main telco. What a great move that was of the Howard Gov' to sell OUR telco to the private sector. Where the profits (3.7 BILLION! in 2008) from our telco usage pay the guy running the co. fees like 13 million. Money that could have been spent on funding the NBN or improving our network in other ways.

proof of how great a move it was to sell Telstra - well now they're being taken to court for monopolistic behaviour

* our health sector is Australia's BIGGEST employer, and I would figure many people feel or know of the pressure that system is already under. 70% of the health budget goes to treating people with chronic illness - as our population ages we need smarter methods for consulting with patients who be widespread and obviously part of that 40% of Australians who live outside the big 5 cities and therefor not handy to more expert consultation services.

It's true, this project IS expensive but Australia has a unique problem.
Compare countries like Japan & Korea where [south] Korea has a population density of 500 people per square kilometer to Australia where we have 2.8 people per sq. kilometer.

It's obvious that the cost of infrastructure just on a per capita (person) basis is going to be expensive. If we allow it to be stratified into those in the [big 5] cities getting the creme de la creme of internet connectivity whilst the rural dwellers get left behind we've been more than simply neglectful.

Not only is it simply some left behind family and farmers out there, it's nearly HALF of all Australians. It's elderly people needing health services, it's children needing/deserving access to education services.

The neglect of the farming sector is sad enough as it is, the kind of time and energy that should (could) be devoted to rural issues like water quality/supply, forest and habitat conservation, research into plant and animal production techniques / development / requirements and the afore mentioned health and education all demand that this area of Australia should actually be catered to FIRST not last! THese people feed us and it's the children that leave the farm and move to the cities that then vote about these issues when they are adults. So regardless of their living location they're still IN Australia and still dealing with *national* Australian problems.

The lucky country will fall apart because luck isn't enough. Luck runs out!
If we don't get smart we'll get bought out, over run, run down and most definitely left behind or if we're lucky become the hired help for the countries that OWN our farming land and hi rise buildings.

Get smart and support the National Broadband Network. Information is power and we need the empowerment of that information distribution technology.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Open Terminal Here - Mac OS X

Nice little app for getting a terminal window open and CD'ed to the current folder of the Finder window. I have it as a shortcut in my Finder toolbar.

Available at Mac OS X Hints

Monday, June 28, 2010

How to rip and compress DVDs in Mac OS X

John Zeratsky has given made a nice page of instructions for this on his site.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Allowing your phone access through your wireless security.

One of the better ways of securing your wireless router is to limit access to known MAC addresses.
So if you want your telephone to be able to access your router you'll need to register its MAC address within the router's 'allowed' list.

To find out what your mobile phone's MAC address is (Australians at least),
enter *#62209526# or *#MAC WLAN#

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Google maps - issue with map reset - my wishlist

I have a Map eg. PlacesNearHome.
I search for something, find a site (bookmarks appear - red 'pins') nearby. But I don't want to save Your pin (even if I do, same problem arises)
So I want to edit my map, or just return to my map, which has been removed from the sidebar during the search process.
So I click the link for my maps, or the link down near all the searches listed at bottom of left sidebar, and when my map comes up, giving me the ability to edit and therefor save a bookmark near or at the place I've just searched for.. you RESET THE MAP VIEW!!!!!!!

I do all the leg work to find a street, maybe using street view etc to get to where I want to place a bookmark, and when I go to my map, you reset the view.


many thanks, love (most all) your work =)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

OS X dashboardadvisory locationd phoning home

having noticed my machine 'phoning home' (dashboardadvisory) I thought I'd take a look and see if I should be concerned about it.

It would seem no. It's merely keeping the widgets updated and not sending anything particularly personal to home.

But in the interests of documenting code snippets for my own failing memory here's how to unload the dashboardadvisory service:

I found two references, not sure which should (maybe) be scrubbed)

sudo launchctl unload -w \

sudo launchctl unload -w

found these references on Digg

locationd: similar scenario only now we're talking about the clock keeping itself updated and it can *try* to assess your location in order to do that.

Found some discussion at Superuser

Again, it would seem not to be a big [privacy] issue.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Unloading mDNSResponder from OS X

If mDNSResponder is getting out of hand you can unload it,

noting that mDNSResponder is part of OSX's DNS resolution, and therefor network discovery (LAN, WAN etc) requires it (at least to some degree - I need to research more - so, not knowing, I've not unloaded it);

ie. no mDNSResponder, no resolving host names.

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

To turn it back on, just do the opposite:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chrome-Design, yes =) ... no =(

Chrome-Design, originally uploaded by Deezplace.

Well I've been using Chrome as much as possible (on PC/Windows) for the last 6 months, and loving it, but all is not roses, or at least so I've discovered since I got back to my Mac.

1st the pluses (for me at least, and therefor in my order of importance =)

Translation: very handy for when dealing with homepages in another language, Chrome offers to translate the page you are viewing. Saves a lot of cut 'n' pasting or redirection via translation sites.

Without a doubt Chrome has the nicest Tab handling. Moving, separating, merging all done effortlessly and (mostly) intuitive. And judging by the (lack of lag - response) speed these processes occur at, the code behind is much improved. Better use of computer (CPU/memory) resources.

The range of plugins for Chrome (which makes Firefox so enabled) is growing rapidly, although I tend to agree with a friend's comment that this is causing FF to become bloatware-ish/sluggish.

The combination of the address and search bar seems a (long overdue) natural evolution.

The options menu is much easier to navigate than the other browsers I usually use (Firefox, Safari, IE, Opera).

Now, again for me, the negatives.

I can no longer grab the Bookmark button (the star to the left of the address field) to drag that bookmark to my Bookmarks Toolbar. This was an incredibly quick/handy/idiot proof way to grab a bookmark.
Now I can only click that star which invokes the Bookmark dialogue which saves the bookmark to the bottom of the list of entries in the Bookmark Toolbar. #fail
I was able to do this in Windows but now no more =(

No border; whilst I love good eye candy and especially enjoy borderless video playback, Chrome looks great but I seem to have no handles to move the window about.
The title bar having been compressed down to incorporate the Tab area means that if I have tabs across the full width of the window mean I have no (or very minimal) area that I can click-drag the window if I wish to move it.

edit: I've installed Afloat to alleviate this annoyance, all is pretty good so far.

A pet peeve of mine is that OSX windows can only be resized from the bottom right corner, unlike the "grab any side" of MS Windows. The pro that makes up for that is the way I can grab the bottom border to move the window whereas in the MS scenario I can only have the title (or the Move option in the top left corner menu - means more clicks)

If I've missed a workaround for this I'd be happy to hear about it, I've been alt/command/ctrl and right clicking all over the place looking for other means of moving the window but so far no go.

cheers, I'm sure Google will improve past these issues, it's why I vote for them.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Video conversion - Mac, PC, Linux

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. available here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big Brother trying hard to squash freedoms

"He’s talking about changing the internet to make everything anyone does on the net traceable and geo-located so the National Security Agency can pinpoint users and their computers for retaliation if the U.S. government doesn’t like what’s written in an e-mail, what search terms were used, what movies were downloaded."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stress - who needs it?

Watched a great doco the other night, Stress: Portrait of a Killer, which discussed how much stress humans (try) to cope with now, compared to 100s of years ago.

That your position on the job ladder is enough to give you different health issues to those above you (who will have less issues than you); Folks higher up the job hierarchy (in more dominant positions) have more dopamine in their pleasure centers then folk in more subordinate positions, life just looks better to them.

Stress even seems to effect how (where) fat is deposited on the body, so the typical spreading hips is possibly stress related as well as diet/exercise.

Chronic and acute stress both effect memory.

And an interesting study of baboons, very similar creatures to humans when it comes to stress and it's study, showed a period when a certain troop, due to fatal infection from human's dumed food, lost half their male population. The aggressive Alpha males.

The resultant population actually became more balanced as the norm now was to not be aggressive and possessive. The whole troop as a whole became happier.
Some stuff on youtube

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Misplaced disdain

Antogonism toward other countries, in the shape of holier-than-thou feelings regarding war(s) and the way the perpetrators behave is often misplaced, the result of propaganda and short memories.

I'm reading Colin Wilson's "A Criminal History of Mankind and his details on humankind's history of rage and warmongering is pretty awakening.

See some quotes here regarding European (and American & British) influences on why countries became communist, where the opium trade started (the reason the British *wanted* Hong Kong in the first place) etc.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Give the Law back to the People

Many years back if one transgressed the local laws one was dealt with locally and swiftly.
Maybe stoned to death or having body parts amputated/cut out.

We've [supposedly] come a long way from such days now that we have courts with a "jury of our peers" and the like, but we've also removed the Law a long way from the people it's meant to protect/serve.

The current binding of the law is resulting in teachers having their authority restricted, being threatened by students with law suits, the medical profession, as well, being too wary of malpractice suits such that they daren't risk an unconventional opinion, and many other situations where threat of law suits or over regulation are reducing our freedoms.

It's not just the shear number of laws that have been made to regulate and supposedly serve us, it's the language they're written in.

Why is it that the laws which should define and protect our society are essentially unintelligible to all but a trained few? A trained few who take huge sums of money of us to lead us through such a minefield!

It all makes me think of what's written on the side of the Bad Transformer in his Police car guise: "To Punish and Enslave."

That's what the law currently does for us.

Well I'd thought this for some time and today I saw a great TED talk: Philip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system.

Do yourself a favour, don't just watch this talk, watch TED!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rural Exodus Metropolis Influx

Now it's long been a noted item that humans have been moving into the cities, more and more every year. 130 a minute apparently. 70 million a year.

Now I've always thought this was a pretty sad thing, much as I have enjoyed living in the city a lot myself for various "good" reasons listed in the video, I've felt that it's done at huge expense to the land those people live on.

Good healthy productive land gets concreted over so people can live together en mass, needing huge amounts of supplies to be shipped into them and creating huge amounts of waste to be removed, usually to a place that becomes something like a cancer on the face of the Earth.

Then I saw Stewart Brand's little piece on Squatter Cities.
This TED video pointed out some interesting things for me, my favourite being that population growth slows (birthrate drops) for those in these Squatter Cities.

Food for thought... I thought.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Australian Government shows it Big Brother colours

The Australian Government is going to hamstring our internet access.
We already have an internet system that is far from #1 in the world, what with download caps and lack of rural infrastructure - do YOU want to have your rights to information curtailed as well? Do you agree with the kind of censorship and dictatorial control as being shown in places like China? Then go to this site and LEARN what the government is DOING as opposed to what it THINKS/SAYS it's doing.

Technicians built the internet, why is it Politicians are pretending to know how it works????

The government's "solution" will COST us money, will COST us internet speed, will COST us freedom to information.

Concerned about what your kids see online? Then why do you leave that parental responsibility to someone else?

What’s the problem?

The Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste millions of dollars and won’t make anyone safer.


It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).

We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!

A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?