Archive for September, 2006

Samuel’s Persiflage #8

Samuel's Persiflage
Samuel’s Persiflage Episode Number Eight is now online, and has only just made it in for September. There is also a low quality version for the bandwidth impaired here.

HTML Transcript
PDF Transcript

This month’s Persiflage Puzzle has two words of five and one letters respectively. The clue is “the second word has no vowels”

The main crux of this episode is an interview with world-renowned technology broadcaster Leo Laporte.

Samuel and Leo discuss the upcoming new version of Windows, Windows Vista, and competing operating systems (Leo is a big fan of Apple Mac). Leo is doing some pioneering work in the field of podcasting, and has managed to attract advertisers, Samuel and Leo discuss the success of Leo’s podcast empire and what the future has in store for podcasting and citizen media.

Samuel then pulls a few more letters out of the hat and puts them in the Persiflage Puzzle, pretty much giving away the answer in the process.

The listener feedback is quite sparse this month, Lenny has downloaded iTunes and wants to know how to subscribe to Samuel’s Persiflage, whilst 2CC’s Mike Welsh has sent us a song.

All listeners are invited to send in more feedback, both in written and audio format. As per usual feedback can be sent to podcast@samuelgordonstewart.com (text, MP3, Wave or Ogg Vorbis), spoken feedback by clicking here or on the button below would be great, or leave a comment below.
Send Me A Message

There are a couple thoughts this month, and Samuel starts to babble, so the end music starts to play and Samuel reveals the answer the the Persiflage Puzzle before saying goodbye…or to be more precise “tada”.

The Samuel’s Persiflage #8 file itself is available here, and is 58:26 in length (53.5MB) at 128kbps stereo. The 128kbps format was decided upon because it produces a very good sound quality, and doesn’t “flatten” any music used in the podcast. I do, however, acknowledge that this is just unreasonable for dial-up, so a 16kbps mono file is also available here. The sound quality isn’t as good, but some people like it. The low quality version is 6.68MB

For those of you who are using podcast software to receive your podcasts, the feed can be found here and if you are using iTunes you can subscribe to Samuel’s Persiflage by clicking here.

Podcast related questions and comments can be sent to podcast@samuelgordonstewart.com or left in the comments section of this post. Spoken feedback is preferred (but not mandated) and can be sent either in MP3, Wave or Ogg Vorbis format, or sent even more easily by clicking the button below and following the prompts.
Send Me A Message

Samuel

17 comments September 30th, 2006 at 01:03am

Good afternoon John

Good afternoon John,

It’s very nice to hear you nice and relaxed and refreshed after yesterday’s marathon performance. I was one of the people who called in concerned about your lunch, so I hope you had a good feed after your shift. I wonder if we might see a new six hour "Weekdays with John Stanley" when Lawsie retires?

I’m glad that Steve Liebmann filled in for Lawsie this morning as I’m sure you wouldn’t have wanted to do another six hour show today, and Steve did a fantastic job, much like you did yesterday…it does have me a bit confused about Monday though, will we see yet another swap with you doing Lawsie’s show and Steve doing yours, or will Tim Webster be back on deck on Monday? I’ll be waiting with baited breath.

Have a great weekend John, hopefully they’ll give you Monday off and go the Eagles and the Broncos!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

7 comments September 29th, 2006 at 03:00pm

Flying Dog

A woman is out looking for a pet, and so she’s trying the local pet shops. She walks into a small pet shop and explains her need to the attendant. He thinks for a moment and then says, “I’ve got just the thing for you madam. I’ll just get him.”

With that, he disappears into the back of the shop, and returns a few seconds later with a cute little puppy. “This dog is a special dog,” he tells her. “It is able to fly,” he explains, and with that throws the dog into the air. It immediately begins to float gracefully around the shop.

“There is one problem with him, however. Whenever you say ‘my’, he’ll eat whatever you’ve mentioned. Watch. “My apple!” The lady watches in astonishment as the dog zooms over to the shop attendant and furiously devours an apple he has produced from his pocket.

“He’s cute, and so unusual. I’ll take him,” she says, and a few minutes later she is on her way back home with dog to show her husband.

“Darling, look what a clever pet I bought today!” she exclaims when she gets back home. “He can fly!”

The husband peers at the dog, and then remarks, “Fly eh? Ha! My foot!”

Do you have something you would like to contribute to Friday Funnies? If so, email it to smoothwallsamuel@gmail.com. All contributions welcome!

Samuel

5 comments September 29th, 2006 at 09:28am

Samuel’s Persiflage still set for September

I finally managed to record the interview for this month’s episode of Samuel’s Persiflage overnight, so it looks like we are still set for a September release…depending of course on how much sleep I need over the next couple days. I must admit though, the “not quite September edition” does have an interesting ring to it.

Samuel

27 comments September 28th, 2006 at 01:42pm

John Stanley second in line to the throne!

2UE have today proven that John Stanley’s previous go at filing in for John Laws on a public holiday was not just a desperate attempt by 2UE to fill some air time in the absence of a lot of people…John Stanley is now officially the third person in line to host the John Laws Morning Show, behind John Laws and Tim Webster.

John Laws returned from holiday on Tuesday, and is today unwell, his usual replacement Tim Webster is far too busy working with Channel Ten preparing their coverage of the AFL Grand Final to dash in to 2UE, so 2UE’s afternoon presenter John Stanley took over the show.

This further proves my theory that 2UE are likely to offer John Stanley the morning shift when Lawsie eventually retires. It’ll be a hard choice between Stanley and Webster, both of which do an excellent job, but I think John Stanley will be the most likely option due to Tim Webster’s ongoing comittment to Channel Ten.

Steve Liebmann is likely to host John Stanley’s show this afternoon.

Update 1:29pm: John Stanley is filing in for himself on the afternoon show…see comments below for more details. End update

Samuel

6 comments September 28th, 2006 at 11:13am

Samuel’s Footy Tips

By popular demand (mostly by people who want to bet against me), here are my footy tips for the weekend, just a smidgen and a bit early.

AFL Grand Final
Swans V Eagles

NRL Grand Final
Storm V Broncos

Good luck!

Samuel

17 comments September 28th, 2006 at 10:39am

The ACTION Song

Well it took long enough…finally somebody (well done Denise…sorry, no prize, except seeing the full song) worked out that the title to my article about the recent bus strike “No ACTION today…they took my bus away…” is based on the song “No Milk Today” by Herman’s Hermits.

So, to the tune of “No Milk Today” I present “No ACTION Today”, the song of the strike and the days following. It’s not syllable perfect, so you’ll need to use your imagination a bit.

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The busses are just fine, but there’s a picket line
No ACTION today, the drivers are on strike
But people at the stop, don’t know the reason why

How could they know that there is a strike
There’s no signs around, media just catching up
How could they know that there is a strike
They’re all stuck there, at the bus stop

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
the shifts on offer are, very very poor

But all that’s left is a bus stop filled with people
looking very con-fu-used
They’ll all need to arrange other transport
Like a taxi

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The drivers might be fined, but they don’t really mind
No ACTION today, they took my bus away
Services could be halved, but the drivers won’t take part

Stanhope’s regime has caused this
massive budget cuts, and lots less busses
How will people get from A to B
If there’s no bus, in the middle of the day

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The drivers are on strike, fighting the good fight

All they want’s a decent roster
without split shifts and poor service
They want people to use the busses
And keep them in a job

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
Things are looking up, the talks have resumed
No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The split shifts are gone, the union is pleased

Who knows what might be next
What tricks are left, and who will win
Will we have another strike
Only time will tell, we shall wait and see

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
We play the waiting game, and let the talks go on

Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win
Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win
Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win

Samuel

2 comments September 28th, 2006 at 07:11am

Linux.Conf.Au 2007 to be the biggest and brightest yet!

linux.conf.au 2007 meets demand by extending the official conference period to a full week, and broadening the scope and number of community organised streams, called “miniconfs”.

“linux.conf.au is regarded as one of the world’s best events for Linux and Open Source developers – this year, we have received more responses to our Call for Participation than ever before”, says Jeff Waugh, lead organiser, “Our audience demands quality and diversity, so for 2007, we are extending the main conference period to six days, promoting our much-loved miniconfs and adding fresh ideas such as Open Day.”

Over two hundred and fifty submissions were received for talks, tutorials, and miniconfs. The linux.conf.au 2007 programme will run over six days, with four keynote speakers, four complete days of miniconfs and presentations, an Open Day to present FLOSS achievements to families, students and the general public and our traditional recipe of fantastic evening events for conference attendees to catch up and unwind.

“Miniconfs are community organised streams, focusing on particular projects or interest groups in the Open Source world. Next year, we will host more than ever before, with thirteen events over two days”, said James Purser, miniconf chair and Linux Australia committee member. “Our attendees will be treated to an eclectic mix of old favourites such as Debian and Education,
and brand new streams such as LinuxChix and Open Source in the computer game and film industries.”

linux.conf.au 2007 participants can look forward to the following topics:

* Debian: Ever present and always popular, the Debian miniconf focuses on
the world’s largest community developed operating system.

* Education: For educators and technologists interested in the use of Open
Source in education.

* Embedded: A showcase of amazing devices with Linux at their heart, and a
fine opportunity to share and learn about this fast-growing topic.

* Gaming: Bringing game developers together to promote Open Source games,
and Open Source in game development.

* GNOME.conf.au: A meeting of the minds for developers and users of GNOME,
a desktop environment and developer platform.

* Movies: Covering the increasing uptake of Open Source solutions in film
production, in imaging and infrastructure.

* MySQL: Presenting practical applications of MySQL and related software,
through tutorials and developer discussion.

* OpenOffice.org: Case studies, workshops, demonstrations and tutorials
about the FLOSS world’s answer to Microsoft Office.

* PostgreSQL: Introductory and advanced topics for database administrators
working with PostgreSQL and developers keen to learn about the code.

* Research: Presentation of papers, case studies and workshops relating to
Open Source in Australian research.

* LinuxChix: Celebrating achievements in the Free Software world by women,
and presenting some of their experiences.

* Kernel: Lots of kernel developers getting together to teach and perform
their black arts. Presentations will range from introductory to scary.

* Virtualisation: A huge topic in the Open Source world over the last year
or two, this will cover virtualisation projects, problems and solutions.

(My first ever direct copy of a press release!).

For the record, I was going to submit a proposal for a speech, but decided against it on the grounds that I’m not sure that I’m even going to be able to make it to Sydney for LCA.

Samuel

September 27th, 2006 at 05:29pm

The IT Crowd on ABC TV, 9pm Tonight

Channel 4’s rather odd comedy, The IT Crowd is premiering on ABC TV tonight at 9pm…the humour is very offbeat and probably won’t appeal to many, but I found it rather amusing when I watched it on Channel 4’s website back in February.

The first (and only so far) series has a mere six episodes, so it will be over very quickly, but the international sale of the series during the television ratings season is a pretty decent indicator that Channel 4 plan on filming another series…hopefully slightly better than the first.

Samuel

3 comments September 27th, 2006 at 02:21pm

Framey’s “Just what you need and so you Shoprite”

Well I was going to write a post featuring a classic Canberra television commercial from 2004 (it was a remake of one from many years prior) for the now (once again) defunct Shoprite Supermarket chain…but as I watched the ad last night (for the first time this year) I spotted something I hadn’t spotted before, so I watched it again, and then it dawned on me…I recognised one of the “shoppers”…It’s 2CC’s Mike “occasionally in the plane” Frame!

It’s quite funny to think that my favourite ad (I drove plenty of people mad by playing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over) of 2004 features a person I chatted with on the phone and on Canberra’s airwaves, and I didn’t even know it…and of course by the time I actually met Framey, I had forgotten all about the ad.

Here’s the ad, those of you based in Canberra might remember it, those outside of Canberra can get a glimpse of what we saw and heard day in day out for months (I distinctally remember Shoprite sponsoring 2CC’s news twice, their second sponsor tagline was “This news brought to you by Shoprite supermarkets, right around the corner from anywhere”).


This is my first time uploading videos to Google Video and YouTube, and they both shrunk the video to about the size of a matchstick, so for your convenience, you can download my original version here. Overall I’m happier with YouTube, uploading was easier, faster, and didn’t ruin the aspect ratio (I had to remaster the video for Google to accept the aspect ratio).

And just in case, like me, you want to sing along with it, here are the lyrics:

Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just what you want, just what you like
Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just before work, just any night
Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just for the service, just for the smile
Just for that genuine shoprite style
Just for the specials that make it worthwile
Just ‘cos you’re busy, just ‘cos you’re bright
Just what you need and so you shoprite

In my view this is a brilliant ad, and contains something that so many ads are missing these days, a good solid recognisable jingle…sure, it’ll drive you up the wall if you watch or hear it often enough, but I think it’s fantastic.

Now for a look at Framey’s journey through the Shoprite supermarket.

There’s quite a few groceries in that trolley, I think I can see some celery and even a distinctive older style “Black & Gold” label.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

Framey’s considering which product from Shoprite’s massive collection he will next add to his nearly overflowing trolley.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

A wry smile from Framey as he finds the item he was looking for.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

It’s always a good idea to weight a watermelon before purchasing it.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

What happened to the trolley???
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

And then we don’t see Framey again…maybe he went searching for his trolley?

Samuel

1 comment September 27th, 2006 at 10:15am

Citizen Lockout: Immigration Deletes Nearly 5000 Travelling Australians

It just keeps getting worse for the embattled Department of Immigration…this time they’ve managed to delete just over 4,900 records of Australian citizens currently travelling overseas, effectively locking them out of the country until the data can be manually re-entered from paper.

Sources inside the Department of Immigration have informed me (and subsequently verified) that the records were lost late last week during routine staff training. Staff were being trained in the use of a system for managing records of Australians who are currently overseas (and possibly others), and were using dummy records for training. Near the end of the day, on a day late last week, the Immigration official supervising the training went home, leaving a mostly trained trainer in charge. Sometime around 5:10pm one of the trainees entered some data incorrectly and asked the trainer for assistance, the trainer advised them to press the delete key, the trainee subsequently queried this advice by asking “are you sure?”, to which the trainer said “yes, press the delete key”.

According to sources, when the delete key is pressed on this system it does not ask for confirmation, and pops up a message when it has completed the task. On this occasion it is believed that the cursor was in the wrong location because the system whirred away for a little while before popping up a message stating that it had successfully deleted 4900 or so records…unfortunately very few of those were dummy records, and most of them were real records, and without them, people in those records are unable to re-enter the country.

“What about backups?” I hear you ask…this system doesn’t have them…apparently it is a deterrent to people playing around with the system…more like a very tempting chaos creator if you ask me.

Immigration are working on restoring the deleted data from other systems and from paper at the moment, no disciplinary action is likely as this was a genuine accident, but procedures are being reviewed.

It is unknown how many people have been affected as they attempted to re-enter the country.

Samuel

1 comment September 27th, 2006 at 07:16am

Your Questions, My Answers

It’s funny how correspondence through the feedback form comes in bursts…people don’t touch it for ages, and then suddenly half a dozen people contact me in a few days. The contact form is great for anonymous contributions, tips etc as it will accept bogus email addresses, and doesn’t record IP addresses.

Anyway, a couple highlights from the last few days:

Preston writes:

Subject…: flexibus to be scrapped
………………………………………………….

seen this?
http://www.canberraliberals.org.au/default.cfm?action=news_detail&ID=6330
http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200609/1747153.htm?act

Indeed I have Preston, in fact I made reference to Flexibus being scrapped nearly two weeks ago (and possibly before that…I can’t recall), but it’s nice to know that the information has been released by those more prominent than myself, and therefore is much more likely to be followed through with.

Janet writes:

What’s happening with the busses, are the drivers going on strike again?

Well they’re not going on strike again in the forseeable future. Since the strike ACTION and the Transport Workers Union have been having some useful discussions, ACTION have once again withdrawn the split shifts, and this time the TWU have publicised it, so things are looking good. The last thing I heard was Klaus Pinkas from the TWU sounding rather pleased with the progress of the talks.

James writes:

When is the next persilferlage coming out?

(Quote modified to exclude profanities)

Soon James, soon, I’m still trying to work out an appropriate interview time with a guest in the US.

nemzoid45r writes (amongst other things):

I just found your site after a friend shown it to me and u r a waste of the internet

Unfortunately that was one of the more legible passages of nemzoid45r’s email, but I’m sure you get the drift…it’s been a while since I’ve had someone berate me illegibly, so it’s nice to know people still feel a need to be idiots online.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I agree with one of Mike Jeffreys’ sayings:
“God must love idiots, becuase he made so many of them”.

I wonder what will land in my inbox in the next 24 hours?

Samuel

6 comments September 26th, 2006 at 09:11pm

Stuart Bocking gains ground on Jim Ball: Mid-dawn ratings released

The annual Mid-dawn ratings for various capital cities have been released, of particular interest to me is the Sydney Ratings, as they influence Sydney’s mid-dawn programming, whcih in turn affects the programming they relay into Canberra.

2UE’s Stuart Bocking is off to a great start, pulling the station back within 5 points of rival 2GB, 2GB are on 16.9%, 2UE 12.5%, Triple M 9.5%, Mix 106.5 8.8% and NewsRadio 8.1% rounds out the top five. According to RadioInfo, this is the highest score NewsRadio has acheived in mid-dawn, and it’s all to do with “specially programmed” BBC radio, which is broadcast by NewsRadio overnight.

Radioinfo has plenty of info on some of the other capital cities:

In Melbourne Trevor Chappell’s national overnight program on ABC774 is top with 21.7%, followed by 3AW with 20.3%. Nova 100 is third with 10.3%, followed by Gold on 7.7%. NewsRadio does not score as strongly in Melbourne with only 2.8%, while SEN, which broadcasts overnight international sport, scores 4.7%.

In Adelaide talk station 5AA was streets ahead of its rivals on 28.0%. ABC talk station ABC891 was second with 15.0%, followed by SAFM on 11.3 and Mix 102.3 on 9.6%.

Radioinfo’s headline for their article about Mid-Dawn ratings is “Talk top at nights”…and why wouldn’t it be? If you’re listening to the radio in the wee hours, you’re probably not after presenter-free music and ads…you probably want some company, and these ratings show that.

Samuel

4 comments September 25th, 2006 at 12:25pm

2CC and 2CA back to sharing news…and a new outcue for 2CC…maybe…

It looks like the gradual revision of 2CA programming has started this morning, with their short, not quite on the hour (or the half hour), pre-recorded news bulletins scrapped in favour of sharing live news with 2CC under the guise of “Capital Radio News”. I personally think the old “Capital Radio Network News had more gradeur…but it did take half a second longer to say, and that’s half a second not dedicated to news.

As of 5:30 this morning 2CA and 2CC have returned to sharing the bulletins, something they stopped doing when 2CA relaunched with their failed “new sound” in late January.

Also, 2CC have a new outcue for their news bulletins, no longer do we hear that “There’ll be more news at (time of next bulletin) on 2CC, where you’ll hear it first in the nations capital”, instead we now hear that 2CC has “live local news on the hour, the half-hour, and when it breaks”, which is remarkably similar to the outcue used by KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles, their outcue is “KFI is the station with live local news on the hour, on the half, and when it breaks”.

Mind you, the new outcue must be one of the most short-lived outcues in the history of radio…by 7am they were back to the old “There’ll be more news at…” outcue, which is probably just as well, as the new one was a downright lie.

On weekdays 2CC have live and local news from 5:30am to 6pm, with live (but not local) news from 7pm to 11pm, and pre-recorded news (thanks 2UE!) from midnight to 5am. Weekends are the same, except the live but not local news starts at 1pm, and the pre-recorded news runs through until 5:30am.

2CC also have an actual intro for Dennis Leigh’s traffic reports…it’s just a sound effect of a car horn beeping twice and 2CC’s voiceover man saying something to the effect of “2CC Traffic for (insert sponsor here)”, but it is a change from the newsreader informing us that it is now time for 2CC traffic…he still gets a live intro from presenters though. That being said, Dennis changed his outro from “more 2CC traffic shortly” to “more Canberra traffic shortly”. Oh it’s a strange day in news and traffic at that station today.

As for 2CA…looks like the old format might be making a bit of a comeback, something which was rumoured a couple days after their recent ratings disaster. A source inside Capital Radio said to me “It looks like we will be heading to a “Classic Hits” type of format over the next few weeks”, and it looks like that source was right…in fact it looks like the old format is making a comeback, the news is certainly an indicator of that.

The source also told me “the music has been pretty “confused” since we started, with songs like “Morning Has Broken” followed by Nickelback etc. Realistically, I think the younger audience would switch off when the old stuff came on, and the older audience would switch off when the new stuff came on.” Which left them with a mere 2.9% of Canberra, most of which who switched off when music they didn’t like started playing.

Samuel

10 comments September 25th, 2006 at 09:23am

Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

Only one weekend to go, and it’s the weekend that gives teams gloating rights for the next 52 weeks!

The weekend that just passed was a mixed bag for me, as people who followed Loki’s updates in the recent Footy Tipping post would know all about. My AFL tips were spot on, but the NRL tips were only slightly above negative territory…a very round figure.

AFL Finals Week 3: 2/2 (100%)
NRL Finals Week 3: 0/2 (0%)
Week Total: 2/4 (50%)
Graph of the weekly results

Totals:
AFL: 96/184 (52.17%)
NRL: 99/188 (52.66%)
Total: 195/372 (52.42%)
Graph of the total results

This now puts my AFL percentage within striking distance of my NRL percentage, but only if I correctly tip the winner of the AFL Grand Final, and fail to tip the winner of the NRL Grand Final. The possibilities are as follows:

AFL (0) and NRL (0):
AFL: 51.89%
NRL: 52.38%

AFL (1) and NRL (0):
AFL: 52.43%
NRL: 52.38%

AFL (0) and NRL (1):
AFL: 51.89%
NRL: 52.91%

AFL (1) and NRL (1):
AFL: 52.43%
NRL: 52.91%

For the record, my ACTAFL tips for the year were fantastic (much to the delight of the Swans Reserves):
ACTAFL Season Total 0/1 (0%)

Samuel

September 25th, 2006 at 06:55am

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