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October 29, 2003

Youth arrested for cracking Optus

The Australian Federal Police have arrested a 17-year-old guy from Brisbane for cracking (that's cracking, not hacking!) Optus' website in Nov 2001.

As I understand it he is the first person to be charged under Australia's new IT crime laws, and the result for him was merely a guilty plea entered, but no actual conviction being recorded against his name. Seems fairly light if the feds were wanting it to serve as a warning to would-be hackers, but I guess he probably didn't do that much damage.

As an aside can I just remind the media (and everyone else) the difference between hackers and crackers.

cracker: One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker
hacker: A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

Summary: hackers make things, crackers break them.

Posted at 03:35 PM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Plan to stop spam by changing email addresses

Are politicians really this naive?

Derek Wyatt's plan involves the changing of an email address like to - the swioaa is the postcode of the area where Wyatt resides.


Wyatt's argument runs thus: with this scheme, everybody would be traceable and hence spammers would be easily trackable. Hence, spam would stop.

"Spammers would be traceable by postcode or pin number and country of origin," Wyatt says on his website.

Yeah, that'll work, 'cause people are going to want to give up the anonymity that the web provides by telling everyone their name and address. And spammers would never create false addresses, they're far too reputable.

Posted at 02:03 PM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Repent! The road to hell is paved with spacer gifs and nested tables!

A brilliant, humorous, presentation on the virtues of web standards. It's a very well-designed presentation & the accompanying comics are very funny, this one being my personal favorite.

Posted at 09:55 AM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 27, 2003

Posting to TypePad from FeedDemon

Nick Bradbury has posted a great tip on how to post to a MovableType blog from FeedDemon. I figured there would have to be a way to do the same thing for TypePad.

What you need to do is, in Feed Demon go to Tools > Blog this News Item > Configure Blog Publishing Tools, then click Add. Put TypePad as the Name and enter the following into the Command Line:

Click OK, and you will now be able to blog any news item from Feed Demon directly to TypePad by right-clicking on the news item and selecting Blog This News Item > TypePad (or by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+B if you set it as the default). When you do this, a new browser window will open up which will contain the information about the news item in a form that is pretty much the same as the QuickPost Bookmarklet Form, it will even pull the Trackback info from the news item if it's available. You can then make any other changes to the post, like adding comments or a category, then save the post. Easy!

Posted at 01:34 PM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (610) | TrackBack (8)

October 23, 2003

Microsoft Office 2003 launched

Microsoft has launched the latest incarnation of its Office suite, which will have full XML support for integration into web services. But some IT analysts are saying that Office 2003 will need to be very compelling for companies to upgrade in the current market.

For companies that did not sign up for multi-year licensing programs with Microsoft, the new Office package may not be compelling enough to justify an upgrade, said Joe Wilcox, with Jupiter Research.

In addition, companies may not like that they need to buy new server software to get the full benefits of many new features, he said.

As the above article also mentions, Microsoft has some competition from StarOffice and Open Office. Open Office especially because it's free, and has a suite of programs that do the functions of Microsoft Office (except for Outlook). Also Open Office's word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications can all open and save the documents that come from the respective Microsoft Office applications.

Continue reading Microsoft Office 2003 launched...

Posted at 10:00 AM in the Software dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 22, 2003

Australia's Aging Population

To see something rather disturbing, have a look at how the US Census Bureau estimates the Australian Population will break down, by age, in the year 2050 based on current trends:

Australian Population By Age in 2050

(via kottke)

You think that the health and welfare systems are overstreched now? Have a think about what it will be like when the 80+ age bracket out-number every other age group (by about half on these estimates).

Posted at 02:44 PM in the Australia dept.| Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

Blank Google ads on Blogspot

Can someone tell me what the deal is with these ads on some Blogspot sites? I know that the ad system is down for 're-tooling', and that they're a Google affiliate now, but does this mean that the Google ad bot hasn't indexed that site yet or something like that?


Posted at 12:27 PM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

With a final salvo, Mahathir departs

I think Mahathir has finally lost it. He says that it's not because of him that there's been trouble between Australia & Malaysia, especially refering to Keating's recalcitrant comment. Well, if he stoped being so recalcitrant the comment wouldn't have been needed. (As an aside, wasn't it Keating who recently had a go a Howard for giving us a bad name is South-East Asia?) And apprantly the fact that people were offended at his comment that Jews rule the world proves that Jews rule the world. Then he spoke of his fantasies of holding hands with George Bush:

Dr Mahathir denied reports he had been rebuked by President George Bush for his remarks. A White House official told US journalists that Mr Bush had taken Dr Mahathir aside on Monday to tell him his comments were "wrong and divisive".

But Dr Mahathir claimed Mr Bush had, in fact, apologised for making such harsh public criticisms of him. "Later we walked virtually hand in hand together," he said.

Of course, sure you did.

Continue reading With a final salvo, Mahathir departs...

Posted at 09:28 AM in the Australia dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Best. Brainstorming session. Ever.


(Via a work colleague)

Posted at 09:06 AM in the Now I've Seen Everything dept.| Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 21, 2003

Coke uncorks in-house IT

Coca-Cola Amatil's Australian IT head has said that they will be replacing most of their outsourced contract staff with in-house IT staff. He also says that while development was minor this year, next year they are planning to spend upwards of 25% of the $40m IT budget on innovation. This is a good sign for the industry.

By increasing development staff and cutting contract labour, Mr McNamee said he hoped to cut spending on infrastructure maintenance.

This year only 5 per cent of the annual $40 million IT budget would be spent on innovation, he said.

He expected this figure to increase to 25 per cent next year as a result of workforce "reorganisation" - not outsourcing of IT functions.

"It is very important to keep the hamster running and make sure the whole operation runs - IT's importance lies in its ability to help innovation," Mr McNamee said.

Keep the hamster running, who else but an IT manager would say that? Normal managers talk about "leveraging available resources", IT managers know the industry runs on hamsters!

Posted at 03:52 PM in the Web/Tech dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"I wish the real world would just stop hassling me" - Rob Thomas