The Sydney Morning Herald needs to fire their tech writer

They don’t know how to check their facts, for starters. I’m no fan of designer-labelled mobiles, but the LG-Prada phone is not an Apple iPhone lookalike. Mockups of the Prada phone were out in December, and since we know that the secrets of the iPhone were kept well under wraps until the announcement at MacWorld, the author of this article obviously did only the most rudimentary of research, possibly by surveying rabid Apple fans.

The Burmese junta are barking mad

I wonder (only slightly) what it must be like to live in Burma and have only one source of news, and it is complete and utter crap:

“She avoided paying taxes to the State by asking her family members abroad to spend all her cash awards provided by international organizations and honorariums presented for her works she had created abroad, instead of spending the money in the country,” the newspaper wrote.

Yes. Now they’re trying TAX EVASION as an excuse to keep her under house arrest. And even then, they say she’s getting off lightly!

“It was very considerate of the government to put only restrictions on her, instead of punishing her in accordance with (the) law,” the paper said.

A country like that is just the slowest train wreck ever. We are all watching this disaster slowly get worse and worse, and all ASEAN can do is talk. Something really needs to be done about this. If they had abundant oil resources, could we undertake a humanitarian war of liberation?

Foodie Friday — Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn

roasted cauliflower

When I was a child, I only really liked two vegetables — mushrooms (my favourite) and broccoli. The broccoli I ate was lightly stir-fried with some oil and (I think) light soy sauce (maybe a touch of oyster sauce as well). Biting down on ‘the trees’ was seriously tasty. So I ate cauliflower too (it looked close enough to broccoli).

These days, I like quite a range of vegetables, although I draw the line at bittergourd (blech). I love popcorn as well, so when there is a recipe for cauliflower cleverly disguised as popcorn, I pay attention. Cauliflower, garlic, breadcrumbs, a tiny bit of salt, and a touch of fresh chilli pepper baked till brown sounds absolutely mouthwatering.

This would be a great snack for a movie session! It’s just preparation, and I hate the preparation part of making food edible.

Do as I say, not as I do

Before I even start, here’s a disclaimer: I don’t claim that China is better than the US, or equal, or worse. I’m just commenting on the irony of the article.

China apparently conducted a missile test and blew up an old Chinese weather satellite. The US is not happy.

Analysts said China’s weather satellites would travel at about the same altitude as U.S. spy satellites, so the test represented an indirect threat to U.S. defense systems.

Emphasis mine. If you don’t see the irony in that, the rest of this post will be useless to you.

In October, President Bush signed an order asserting the United States’ right to deny adversaries access to space for hostile purposes. As part of the first revision of U.S. space policy in nearly 10 years, the policy also said the United States would oppose the development of treaties or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space.

Read between the rather fat gaping lines — US is the greatest and can do anything it wants. Anyone else is not and will never come close if the US has anything to do with it, by God.

And this is the country that’s supposed to stand for freedom, equality, and liberty for all?


It’s a slow news day when Gordon Brown has to denounce Big Brother

… on an official trip to India, no less. Shilpa Shetty went on a programme that broadcasts the worst in people, and people get on it to get in the newspapers / revive close to-non-existent careers. So I’m a little suspicious of her hurt feelings. And Indian newspapers are just hyping it up. If no one watched Big Brother, there wouldn’t be any ‘controversy’.

Disclaimer: I would rather chew off my bellybutton than watch Big Brother.

OMG OMG OMG snow like for real snow is falling and settling and not melting

Today is the first real day of snow in Scotland this winter (in my opinion). Some places (according to the radio) have had serious issues with traffic because of heavy snow, it was snowing while I was driving, and it’s snowing right now. I’m probably the only one in the office with the goofy smile on my face from walking through the snow showers from my car to the building.

snow at 9.45am

Updates throughout the day, below the jump.


Scottish slang of the day — BRAW

Clearly, I mean the Scottish definition, which is

Unintelligible, yet somehow mysteriously compelling, Scots word for grand, fine, super, etc

It’s not particularly funny, unless you’re Scottish and you live in Xiamen and when you go for a walk along Xiahe Lu and reach

Times Braw Habitation Piazza

… then it’ll make you (well, Neil) laugh.

A lack of charity

My colleague, who has signed up for the Oxygen Deficit 10k with me, is collecting sponsorship signatures for his participation. I have not asked for any sponsorship*.

Here’s why, if there could possibly could be any new readers to this site. In 2004, I signed up for the Xiamen International Marathon. I was training hard and managed to do a half marathon one Sunday morning. I was all ready to run my first marathon. I’d decided to go for sponsorship, and had arranged sponsors to donate to a Community Health charity my uncle and aunt volunteer with.

Then I went to Scotland for ten days about three weeks before the marathon and caught a cold, which turned into a bout of bronchitis. I was sick for over a month. I could just about catch my breath and not wheeze like mad on the day of the marathon.

Needless to say, I didn’t run that day. And so I’ve decided that I won’t do sponsorships any more (I’m a bit superstitious in the Murphy’s Law department), and I will do my best to join charity runs and donate that way (i.e. paying my entry fee).

* If I did, however, I would go for donations to either St Andrew’s Hospice or the the Scottish SPCA.

A Singaporean Malay tells his fellow Malays to stop whining and prove all the racists wrong

“Racism, like any other obstacle in life, can either work against you or in your favor. What does not kill you will make you stronger. The Jews and the Malaysian Chinese have recognized these very well and have worked it towards their advantage by shining instead of whining. Will Singapore Malays do the same?” — Ridzwan.Com (via Tomorrow)

It’s true that people shouldn’t have to put up with racist remarks and discrimination, and those supporting a level playing field (note: NOT affirmative action*) should act. What he is advocating is for Singaporean Malays (and perhaps other minority groups, race-based or otherwise) to stop complaining and doing little else.

If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, do something about it, don’t sit back and expect the government to try and enforce racial equality! Write to SNEF, to your MP, to the minister for community development. If you’ve been rejected for a job because of your race, find one where no one cares what colour you are. You can work positively in the face of discrimination and get through it — you just have to make the effort.

* IMHO, affirmative action just sets the minority apart even more.