Archive for July, 2009

Jerk Of The Week 31/7

This week’s nomination:

Your “Jerk of the Week” submission
Microsoft

Why should this person be the “Jerk of the Week”?
For nagging in me for weeks to download Windows Live Messenger, and when I finally cave in and download it, it crashes every time I try to log in.

Your Name (Optional)
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Casey and Heather’s “Jerk Of The Week” usually airs shortly after 6pm Thursday (Vegas time), 11am Friday (Canberra time) on Newsradio 840 KXNT.

Samuel

July 31st, 2009 at 09:45am

Did I ever tell you that I like Traffic Infringement Notices and Defect Notices?

If I did, then I was lying.

A $90 fine for administrative nonsense, and defect notices for window tinting which is legal in New South Wales, but apparently not in the ACT, plus clear tail light covers (the bulbs produce red light…who cares if the covers are clear? I would have thought clear covers with red lights were a better and more noticeable option that red covers which have their shade of red altered by light bulbs which aren’t always very good at their job), and an exhaust which “might” be too noisy, but wasn’t actually tested before being defected.

Definitely a weird day.

Samuel

July 30th, 2009 at 11:06pm

Neil Mitchell Vs John Laws

A quite extraordinarily bizarre exchange between 3AW Morning Show host Neil Mitchell and retired 2UE Morning Show host John Laws, this morning on Neil’s show.

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Audio courtesy of Crikey and copyright 3AW/Fairfax Radio Network.

Lawsie had a great career, but I seriously think he has gone a bit peculiar in his retirement, and I’m forced to wonder what possessed him to ring Neil…is he paying Media Monitors to alert him to mentions of himself? Or has “The Princess” merely grown weary of him talking to her instead of the country (as he said he would when he retired) and so he felt the need to call the most listened to show in Victoria?

I feel for Neil Mitchell who quite understandably had absolutely no idea what that was all about, or what John’s point was. I’m not convinced that John had any idea what his point was either. Perhaps that was the point…perhaps John was fulfilling a bet that he could still have his say, regardless of how trivial, on the radio and get the media interested in it. Today Tonight certainly were interested in it.

Congratulations John…now please go back to your retirement until you can be sensible. We both know that you’re a lot smarter than what you let on in that stupid exchange…you’re not doing yourself any favours.

And if you’re going to sue Neil, include me in your lawsuit would you? You have about as much chance of winning a lawsuit against me as you do against him.

Oh this has been a weird day.

Samuel

7 comments July 30th, 2009 at 10:42pm

Rush Limbaugh: Updated with Audio

First filed 3:02am
About half an hour ago I had the great pleasure of discussing government healthcare with Rush Limbaugh. It took half an hour of hitting “redial” and hearing two “this is not a free call” announcement per call to get through, but it was well worth it.

I took the decision yesterday that I had to call Rush regardless of how long it took to get through, after hearing him talking about the Obama administration’s proposed healthcare payment bundling for doctors…the similar bulk billing scheme has been such a massive success (sarcasm, if you hadn’t noticed) in Australia that I needed to draw the comparisons.

Many, many thanks to Rush’s staff for making me the first caller of the day.

I’ll grab the audio for you later, after it gets podcasted.

Update 5:42am: OK, here we go with audio. First though, one of the interesting things about being on a show with an estimated minimum audience of 14.75 million people (Talkers Magazine, based on Arbitron ratings data) is that people react. I’ve had some reaction on Facebook which has been great (I’ve never had a program director comment on one of my calls to talk radio before) and I’ve also been interested by some of the other reactions. “usazombie” on Twitter summed up my call thusly:

guy from au called rush Limbaugh and said things suck in au too

Well, sorta…close enough. The deranged people over at Media Matters who dedicate multiple people to scrutinising and commenting on every single second of the Limbaugh show in some bizarre effort to discredit him, declared me to be an “Aussie gentleman“…I was hoping for worse.

Rush took a call from an Aussie gentleman who said that Obama’s health care payment proposal sounds similar to the system they have in Australia, which is a mess. Wherever in the world socialism and liberalism has been tried, it hasn’t worked, said Rush, who asked if the caller can say with any knowledge whether Australian doctors are refusing to treat Medicaid patients. The caller said they’re not refusing treatment, they’re just opting out of the payment system. Rush said he has a friend in Australia right now who sent him this story about aborigines crashing a Wilderness Society party, which Rush said is just hilarious. The caller said it’s not just the aborigines who are upset with the Wilderness Society, a lot of people hate them because they’re shutting down the economy. Obama is doing the same thing here, said Rush. The caller wrapped things up by expressing his hope that the U.S. government follows Australia’s lead and doesn’t impose cap-and-trade. Rush said Harry Reid is trying to get it passed as part of the health care bill. It’s one of those things where they propose an amendment on Friday afternoon and have no debate. They’re going to try and get this done without anyone knowing about it because they know it’s in trouble.

One more break and Rush was back with a correction — it’s not cap-and-trade that they’re trying to sneak into the health care bill, it’s card check.

As deranged as Media Matters may be, they do provide a useful service just in case I need to check back over what day and time it was that Rush said something or referred to a story, long after the archives have disappeared from Rush’s site. At least they aren’t wasting their efforts entirely.

Anyhoo, without further ado, here’s my call to Rush. I’ve included the full segment as I think it leads in to the call quite nicely. If you want to skip ahead to the call, it starts at one minute and twenty seconds.

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Audio courtesy of, and copyright to, The Rush Limbaugh Show and Premiere Radio Networks

That was fun!
End Update

Samuel

2 comments July 30th, 2009 at 05:42am

I can’t tell if he is serious

It could just be a really good joke. This letter from this week’s editions of The Chronicle.

GOVERNMENT targets to slow and stabilise carbon emissions are universally and belatedly inefficient and will likely result in no northern hemisphere ice sheets, permanent El Nino conditions, a sea level rise of 10 metres, loss of the Amazon rainforest through drought and fire along with the Barrier Reef and salination of Kakadu this century.

The government’s approach to something for the environment lobby and something for the business lobby will fail. An action plan as great as that made in the Second World War, when Australia was prepared to spend a third of its economy on that national emergency is required.

John Keen
Page

(line breaks added for readability)

Sea levels rising by ten metres? I know that the ABC’s science guy did one claim it would be one hundred metres, but even ten metres is much higher than any official forecast.

But anyway, if the government’s move are “belated”, then why bother? Why not just adapt?

I seriously can’t tell if this letter was serious or a work of comic genius.

Samuel

July 30th, 2009 at 03:50am

Once and for all, the answer is “no”!

I have a general policy that I do not reveal confidential sources, and do not engage in discussions and speculation as to the identity of said sources, however I feel that I need to make an exception on this one occasion, simply to clear the name of an innocent party.

I am losing count of the number of people who think that I have a confidential source within the Pyrmont Bunker (aka 2GB) with the initials MT. Let me state quite clearly that I do not have such a source…I know an MT, but they are not a source.

Comprende?

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 06:38pm

I live in an intersection

Scarily enough, Google knows where I live…well almost. It’s placed me in an intersection which borders the block on which I live. Apparently it worked this out based by gathering “information about nearby wireless access points and your computer’s IP address”.

Ah well, at least I know that if ASIO ever want to make me disappear and forget to check the electoral roll, they can ask Google where I live and only need to knock down the doors of a dozen or so houses before they find me.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 04:06pm

Dream of Las Vegas

This dream just struck me as being peculiar and odd. It, for whatever reason, takes place at the studios of KXNT is Las Vegas which, in the dream at least, consist of a series of cupboards.

The 8 o’clock traffic and weather was just about to finish, so I played the 8 o’clock flip intro and turned up Alan Stock’s microphone…but Alan just stood there in his cupboard, not saying anything, at which point I realised that I needed to take the telephone (an ancient black rotary dial phone with a speaker attached) in to Alan’s cupboard so that he could answer the calls.

I took the phone in, turned up the speaker, and Alan started taking calls…however the wires were crossed, and so all we could hear was Wayne singing. Eventually I figured out that if I hit the phone with a hammer, we could hear the callers flipping off Wayne’s singing…but there was no way to stop Wayne’s singing from getting to air.

Odd and peculiar.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 02:37pm

Oh how I loved this ID as a kid

My favourite television station ID from my childhood. The upbeat version of Prime’s “this is where we live” campaign. This is the Newcastle version.

Samuel

1 comment July 29th, 2009 at 12:25pm

Sotomayor one step closer to confirmation

Unfortunate, but completely expected.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice.

The committee voted 13-6 Tuesday morning to send Sotomayor’s nomination to the full Senate, where she’s expected to be confirmed easily next week.

Just one Republican, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, joined Democrats in voting for President Barack Obama’s first high court nominee. The panel’s chairman, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, called Sotomayor a restrained, fair and impartial judge who has not favored any one group of people over another. But the top Republican, Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, said her speeches and some rulings revealed beliefs that conflict with the idea of blind justice and fidelity to the law.

You mean quotes like “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”?

The 2010 mid-term elections can’t come soon enough.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 10:56am

Buy now, nothing to pay for 7000 months until you get to the counter

“Go Harvey Go!”

WA Today (from a few days ago) reports that Harvey Norman, king of the interest-free, nothing-to-pay-until-calendars-are-extinct deal, is getting rid of the deals, in order to get a “more stable income stream”.

RETAILER Harvey Norman has begun weaning itself off its popular no-deposit, interest-free deals offered through GE Money as the company seeks more stable income streams and consumers shun excessive debt.

Executive chairman Gerry Harvey said his stores, which have a 25-year relationship with GE, had already started to pull back on promotional activity surrounding the incentives, which can sometimes stretch out to as long as four years before customers have to pay for their purchases.

“We have actually reduced our interest-free offers over the last 12 months, because we are just trying to survive without everything being on interest-free,” Mr Harvey told BusinessDay.

“I’d love to do business with no interest-free [deals] but that’s not possible.”

The relationship has been a huge success to date for Harvey Norman and American financial giant General Electric, which owns GE Money. Since 2004, GE Money has furnished 1.5 million Harvey Norman customers with $3.8 billion worth of interest-free packages.

No word on whether Mr. Harvey’s wife’s competing business, Domayne, which offers similar-to-identical deals and sales, will sever ties with GE Money as well.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 08:44am

Prue Macsween to have a show on 2GB evenings shortly

Further to the recent story about changes to the 2GB evening lineup, word reaches me that Prue Macsween is about to get her own show on 2GB, weekdays between 7pm and 8pm.

Apparently Prue has bought the timeslot, and will on-sell it to the clients of her media agency. This would explain Prue’s appearance on the presenters list on 2GB’s website a few years ago. MediaSpy are running the story as speculation, saying that she will be running a “small business show”. They’re calling it speculation…I have reason to believe that my source knows that the story is fact.

This also means that Luke Bona’s 7pm-8pm show which was recently halved to make room for an Alan Jones and Ray Hadley highlights show (see linked story above) will now get the axe.

Now, moving on to speculation, based on the Pyrmont bunker rumour mill. Brian Wilshire’s show to be extended to 1am, making it a 9pm-1am show. Andrew Moore’s show to start at 3am instead of 3:30am, making it a 3am-5am show, and the David Oldfield show to be dumped…presumably to be replaced by more highlights shows, as mooted in newspapers earlier in the year (I think it was the Daily Telegraph which came up with that one, can’t be sure though).

Samuel

2 comments July 29th, 2009 at 05:28am

The new version of The Bill

The first episode of the revamped 9pm, once-per-week version of The Bill has aired in the UK. Here’s the first two minutes or so of the first episode.

I watched the new opening titles on their own before I saw this video, and I wasn’t keen on the new titles or theme music at all, but after seeing it in context, I think it works well, on the proviso that they keep the new formula of putting a scene before the titles.

As for the background music…not really sure. It seems to work in the background, but it’s one of those elements that you have to keep once you put it there, otherwise it sounds like something is missing. I think the background music will work as long as it stays in the background as it has, and doesn’t take over like it does in some episode of Rush.

Without a doubt though, I will miss the old (current here in Australia) theme.

According to calculations on MediaSpy, Australia should see the new episodes in late October or early November.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 02:54am

Increasing the frequency of Windows’ automatic time updates

My laptop has a chronically slow system clock, so it is forever showing the wrong time, and with my obsessive compulsive requirement of all of my clocks to be correct to the second, this is a very annoying trait. Windows can automatically synchronise the system clock with an internet time server on a weekly basis, but this isn’t much help for me as by the time a week goes by, my computer clock is 56 seconds behind (it loses a second every three hours). It also doesn’t help that the default time server “time.windows.com” is notorious for often not responding to requests.

It’s a simple enough job to change the timeserver which your computer uses (right click on the clock in the system tray, choose “adjust date/time”, click the “Internet Time” tab, if necessary click on the “change settings” button, and choose a different timesever from the list”) however there is no option to change the frequency of these updates. Thankfully though, it is possible, and merely requires a simple registry edit.

Click the start button or the Windows icon, depending on your version of Windows.
(Versions prior to Vista: click run)
Type “regedit” (vista: click the “regedit” icon) (earlier versions: click “OK”)
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient
Double click on “SpecialPollInterval”
The figure is the number of seconds between updates. By default it is 604800 (one week). I set mine to 43200 (twelve hours).
Click OK.

After the next scheduled time update (or manually forced update), the newly selected update schedule will kick in.

A word of warning though. Some timeservers will block you if you update your time too regularly. Setting your update schedule to a very low number is not recommended.

Samuel

July 29th, 2009 at 01:17am

And now we go in to lockdown

For site maintenance reasons, comments are now being forced through the moderation queue. This won’t take long.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update: Maintenance complete. End Update

Samuel

July 28th, 2009 at 10:01pm

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