Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bog Water

I'm for drinking recycled water, by the way. I mean, do people think birds and fish and things don't already crap in the dams.

9 News had a poll which showed only 55% support; but it was a phone in-poll which means the more motivated people (the ones who are against it, given that President Pete's decision means those who are for it have lost motivation) have more incentive to ring and vote. Clive Berghofer
probably voted a thousand times.

9's just done a story on Vista. Given that they're in partnership with Microsoft at Ninemsn, it's not surprising that they gave it a positive review. But we can do without the falsehoods in the story, thanks - 95% of computers use Windows, ha!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Government also stops caring about its heritage

Another government department name change that escaped my attention last week -- because, let's face it, it's not very riveting stuff -- was the name change from the Department of Environment and Heritage to the Department of The Environment and Water Resources.

So, in one reshuffle, that's multiculturalism AND our heritage gone.

Also, that brings the total of departments with the acronym of "DEWR" to two. Although they added the word "The" to the name, so maybe they want to be "TEWR"

And in an update, the DICs at Immigration have allowed some agencies to use the acronym DIAC. I don't have a pronunciation for this one yet, although "DY-AC" seems to be the only thing that would work.

I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Immigration department to change name to a bad acronym.

Public Servants tend to refer to their own and other departments by acronym. Thus the (old) Department of Family and Community Services was referred to as "FaCS" (FACKS).

Now that they're Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, one person I know insists on pronouncing FaCSIA as though it were spelled fascia (i.e., FAY-SHA), but most people still just call it FACKS, or FACK-SEE-A.

Whether or not the D -- for 'Department' -- is pronounced depends on whether or not it makes a good acronym. Social Security was always called "DSS", not just the "SS". If the D in FaCS had been pronounced, the acronym could well have sounded very much like "The effing Cs".

Still, the Department of Primary Industries and Energy has -- or at least had -- an acronym (DPIE) that is pronounced "Dopey", so not everyone thinks about the acronyms before naming the department.

And it shows. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DEE-MA) has changed name to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. It won't stop them being dicks, though.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

RSS feeds and new Blogger

If anyone monitors this by RSS, you might have noticed that the feed has gone weird recently. I'm going back through old posts and putting labels on them and the feed updates with the latest one I've done, no matter when it was originally published. Hopefully, this post will fix things up.

But if not, meh. I'll be doing it for a little while longer, but I'm not going to do them all. I think.

And, yes, I did send him Hindu Love Gods.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is so disgraceful, I'm going to have to use the c-word


There, I said it. I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've used it here.

If you go into Centrelink to lodge your dole form and you have what used to be known as a 'breach' - they have some new-fangled euphemistic phrase for it now, 'participation failure' or something - they won't process your form. They tell you that no one in the office can help you and they send you over to a phone to call some other place. The problem is you can't get through to the other place; you sit listing to hold music for a half an hour, or sometimes an hour and a half.

Sometimes there is someone in the office who can help you, but instead of getting to see them, they make you go over and ring them up. They make you sit out the front of the office talking on the phone to someone hiding in the back of the office.

You have to do this, or you won't get paid. Ever.

Centrelink used to pride themselves on 'customer' service. Now it seems they just don't care. They used to want to help people, now they make you talk to people sitting 10 metres away from you by phone. I'm sure it's so the staff don't get to see the people on the other end as people, just annoyances they can hang up on if they feel like it.

This is symptomatic of the contempt in which the Howard government holds unemployed people. It matches the contempt in which they hold employed people. (c.f. WorkChoices.) If you aren't an employer, they don't give a crap.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

21st Century Etiquette

If you buy someone a CD, is it okay to rip it before you give it to them?

LATER: Thanks, Syme; just the answer I was hoping for. (See comments.) I don't think my brother would mind, after he doesn't believe in paying for music anyway. It's easy to tell he's never forked out money for a recording session or to get a CD pressed.


ABBA, Buck's Fizz, Morrissey???

Morrissey is reported to be in talks to write England's next Eurovision entry.