Monday, 7 November 2011

A Brief Encounter

As time has gone on, the flat in Perth has become quite the little haven for bugs of all kinds. We have been having some ant problems, and it doesn't seem to matter what we do, we just can't seem to get rid of the little blighters.

The same can be said for the small number of tiny spiders that live inside the apartment. I'm not saying that they are absolutely everywhere, just a few dotted around. I have tried using the vacuum cleaner to suck them from the ceiling and most of the time this works, but upon returning home from work the next day, they are all back, seemingly laughing at my pitiful attempts to move them on.

The worst affected area, certainly when it comes to the spiders, is the balcony. The apartment, being an over-garage affair, is not particularly well built. This is reflected in the quantity and size of gaps between the brickwork and the wood of the balcony. Perfect hidey holes for spiders.

For the most part, we have let the spiders get on with their lives, but about a month ago, I decided that enough was enough. Spring is here, and it's time for a bit of a clean, the webs had to go. I was going to buy a duster, or some other such implement to get rid of the ones within easy reach of the balcony, and then have a rethink about the rest of them (the balcony covers only about a third of the outside area of the building).  I had first considered the same vacuum treatment that I had given the ones inside the house, but they are a little bigger, and I have been told that spiders can sometimes survive the journey from wall to bag.

Ever the procrastinator, I never actually got around to buying the feather duster. Instead, a few weeks later, I put the mop into service, sweeping away as many of the cobwebs as it's length and sturdiness would allow. Overall, the operation appeared to be a success. Most of the cobwebs and spiders disappeared, leaving only a few stragglers which were slowly being cleared one by one.

One such creature was basking in the sunshine on the window on Saturday afternoon. It was larger than most of the others I have cleared so far, but didn't look particularly menacing. I grabbed the mop, and slowly pointed it toward the spider. It obliged by climbing onto the end of the mop head. I maneuvered the mop over the side of the balcony and shook it vigorously, hoping that it would drop to the ground below. Unfortunately, I had made the elementary mistake of pointing the mop into the wind, which the spider caught expertly and was whisked in my direction, straight onto my arm.

It was only then that I got a good look at it... Oh!!

A female red back. Widely regarded as one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. Brilliant. Or, to enunciate more accurately what I thought at the time, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t sh*t, what do I do, what do I do, what do I do?!?! I hung my arm over the balcony and shook, but she was held on tight. I shook some more, trying not to let the panic set in. Eventually, she came free, dropping to the ground below.

Relief is not the word!

So far as I know, this particular spider has not returned. I have since found a male on the balcony, which was disposed of much more successfully. I'm really hoping not to find any more on our balcony!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A wasted hack

The title of this particular post is not, as it might appear, a reflection on my own life, although some of my readers may be justified in assuming so. No, this is a brief post about something that popped up on my Twitter feed last week.

As you may have read or seen on the news last week, NBC news had their Twitter account hacked by a small group of hackers calling themselves The Script Kiddies (a more unoriginal name I think would be hard to find!). Once they had taken over the account, the hackers proceeded to post tweets about a fresh attack on the World Trade Centre on the anniversary of 9/11. Of course, I find this particular act deplorable, but I also can't help thinking that it really was such a waste of a hack.

These hackers could have posted absolutely anything. The opportunities to post links to real stories about humanitarian disasters around the world to raise awareness, or to post stories and links to charities fighting disease and poverty around the world are truly endless.

The hackers could even have tried to bring a little joy into the world by posting ridiculously faked stories. A news item about a man being attacked by a shark on the 38th floor of his office building, or Toyota designing a car that only has one gear, reverse.

Stories along these lines may have helped cheer up a world so full of anger, suffering and misery that the hack may have been seen as something of a public service acted out by a group of hackers wanting to rid the world of a few frowns. Instead, the hackers once again made people question the very technologies they have become reliant upon and attempted to prove that hackers have nothing but evil tendencies and a talent for code.


Monday, 12 September 2011

Apple In Shock "We Invented Everything" Claim

The new CEO of Apple today claimed that the high end consumer electronics company can lay claim to having invented "nearly everything since the dawn of time". The claim was made during a press conference held to release details of the latest Apple product, iAir, a new interoperability platform allowing seamless communication between existing products in the iElements range including iOxygen and iNitrogen.

The move is likely to spark another wave of condemnation from anti-Apple protesters concerned about the influence the technology company is having on modern society.

"They will one day have to accept that some things were around before them, surely" said a spokesperson for "Bananas Are Better", a lobbyist organisation campaigning for the freedom of licence to create. Their campaign, which started last year calls for individuals outside of the Apple corporation to be able to show creativity without seeking permission from the Apple corporation. The lobbyist group was started after a trade-marking of the letter "I" saw the banning of the use of the aforementioned letter to represent the first person singular last summer, after which it became legal for people to refer to themselves only as "one".

The spokesperson, who's name we cannot print in full due to the number of I's in his surname went on to say "I mean, I'm pretty sure that I was breathing before Apple invented iOxygen! And where does it end? Will my own lungs be the subject of Apples next trade mark?"

The Apple corporation have seen backlashes from the public before, most notably from religious groups worldwide a few years ago when Steve Jobs, co-founder and then CEO of the Apple corporation made claims to the beginnings of the Earth.

"A prototype 'Garden of Eden was available on the Mac long before god came along and worked on the idea", he said in an interview with CTX Technology News. "He then tried to do us out of our idea by sewing the seed that the Apple corporation was a hindrance to humanity with some story of Adam being ejected from the Garden of Eden for eating an apple".

Now in it's final stages, the legal battle between the Apple corporation and God, which Apple claims as one of its former employees has been raging for longer than this reporter can remember.

Where used in this article, the letter i is done so with permission from Apple corp. No iGuanas were harmed during the making of this article, although we may have hurt ones feeling after we refused it an interview.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Proof that we have become too reliant on computers

This is the absolute definitive proof that we have become too reliant on computers

Question: Are you Male or Female?

To find out the answer, look down...



















I said look down, not scroll down.

Proof if ever proof were needed!!!!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Another Sleepless night!

As I sit here, the clock has just ticked past 1am on it's inevitable journey towards the dawn chorus, and no matter how hard I try, I just cannot get to sleep. I tried, really I did, but it's not happening.

I went to bed relatively early tonight. Early for me is anything before midnight on a regular school night with my normal being between midnight and one. I lay the duvet over me, closed my eyes and waited for sleep to wrap its warm, comforting arms around me, but the mystic beast would not come. Although I felt tired, my mind was alive with all the things that fill my waking hours, and some of the things that I only think about when my brain is shutting down.

Are we really the only intelligent life-forms in the universe?
What would happen if the world ran out of olives?
Why is it that just reading the words "head-lice" or "yawning" will cause a physical reaction in your body (scratching your head or yawning, respectively!)

My inner monologue would ponder all of these things and more as it seemingly tried desperately to keep me from getting the rest that I felt I needed. But why? Why does my mind seem to think that the best time to try and figure out these conundrums is the exact moment when you are trying to forget their very existence, the time when the brain should be shutting down and heading to a world of fantasy. A world where penguins can fly in a yellow sky filled by the light of a half moon so infinitely huge that you can only just fit it in your left shirt pocket?

I rolled onto my side, hoping that a change in position toward the once eternal comfort of the foetal position would help ease me to sleep. After only a few moment I began to consider the move a wasted effort. Suddenly aware of the amount of light in the room, despite closed curtains, I pulled the duvet over my head and rested my arm over my eyelids. I began to drift for a few moments, then had the strangest vision that I was drowning. The space under the duvet had become a vacuum filled only with my expelled breath. I turned over and tried a plethora of new positions, but none of them worked. Not a one!

Slowly, my mind turned to my work. Being a computer programmer (/web developer/geek, however you like to put it!) is an excellent way to make a living, but sometimes it has it down points. I am currently juggling two personal projects that are in their development phase plus a few other ideas that have been structuring themselves towards full flight in the back of my mind somewhere. This on top of the day job, and it is no wonder my mind wont shut down!

Eventually, I gave up. Sleep is clearly not for me tonight. I shall do some work, maybe watch a few videos, catch up on a few news feeds, blogs, and whatever else I can find out there on the internet. I guess it's always midday somewhere in the world!

As I write this little bit about sleeping habits, or lack thereof, I am only slightly comforted by the obvious fact that at least one person, if you can call him that, in this house has befriended sleep.

Good night Max. Sweet dreams.