Archive for April 7th, 2006

Black & Gold change their label design

People who shop at Supabarn, IGA, Shoprite and some other stores would be well aware of “Black & Gold”, one of the many generic in store brands which offers products at generally lower prices than their “brand name” competition, other such generic brands are “Savings” as seen in Coles and some independent stores, “No Frills” as seen in Franklins, and “Home Brand” as seen in Woolworths.

These generic brands often cut down on costs by having very simple, and distinctive labeling, which is usually almost entirely text based. Black & Gold are currently in the process of changing their labeling from their old distinctive “yellow label with black text” design, as seen here:
Black & Gold's old label design

To this newer design which contains a new coloured logo, a new slogan “Value you can trust”, and a picture which demonstrates the item:
Black & Gold's new label design

It is quite possible (and probable) that Black & Gold have already made the transition to the newer labeling on all of their products and it is just taking time for the stores to sell off the old stock. I will miss the old simple label design, but the new one is a refreshing change, and gives Black & Gold a slightly more elegant appearance.

It is a good thing that they didn’t remove the yellow background from their labels, as stores would have been fielding complaints from people irate at not being able to find their favourite yellow-labeled products, and would have had to waste staff time pointing people to the new colour scheme.


36 comments April 7th, 2006 at 03:41pm

How impartial is Media Watch?

This is the question I was left asking myself after Monday’s show, in which the following was the final story.

On the other hand we had hoped to tell you about an ongoing legal matter involving the ABC, but late today Media Watch was directed not to broadcast that story.

The director of ABC TV Kim Dalton said

“It is not appropriate for the ABC to comment on a matter before the courts in which the ABC is involved where the perception may arise that the ABC is attempting to influence the outcome of the court’s deliberation.”

Until next week – good night.

The story in question is one Media Watch covered the previous week.

The Packer family’s Bulletin magazine carried a lengthy discussion on the future of the ABC two weeks ago.

Communications Minister Helen Coonan had this to say.

“It won’t be the same ABC it is today in a year’s time – we are in for some very exciting changes.”

— The Bulletin, 21st March, 2006

And boy, she meant it. Talk about moving fast!

“Restructure of ABC Board
The Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will be restructured …

The staff-elected Director position on the ABC Board will be abolished and legislation to give effect to this change will be introduced as early as possible.”

— Senator Coonan, Media Release – Restructure of ABC Board, 24th March, 2006

The election for a new staff director is already underway. The nominations are in. The Australian Electoral Office is gearing up.

So the government has to let that process continue. But once ABC staff have voted – the government will axe the position.

Now that’s forward planning! So where will that leave the board?

The staff elected director will go. A permanent replacement for the managing director is yet to be chosen and it’s not clear whether Chairman Donald McDonald will be re-appointed.

That leaves just four board members whose tenure is secure. Senator Coonan has promised to appoint two new board members soon. ABC staff will meet later this week to discuss the changes.

We’ll keep you posted.

Good night.

Up until now, the ABC has made Media Watch look like an independent 15 minutes of airtime, something over which management take no control over, and is free to do as it pleases, including scrutinise the ABC. With this image, surely there was no problem with Media Watch looking into the story, but instead management have come along and destroyed this image in order to prevent Media Watch from talking about the story. This also makes me wonder what Media Watch found out that management wanted to hide?


Update (3:50PM 7/Mar/2006): It turns out that the story in question was NOT about the staff-appointed director fiasco, but instead about a woman who is suing the ABC for a breach of privacy. Whilst this still raises questions about the impartiality (or lack thereof) of Media Watch, a report in yesterday’s The Australian newspaper casts a different light on it, with host Monica Attard and executive producer Peter McEvoy threatening to quit. You can see the article on The Australian’s website by clicking here, or read on for my “archived for historical purposes” copy (naturally The Australian retain copyright over the article, and any request they may make for me to remove the article from this website will be honoured).

Media Watch resents ABC gag
Amanda Meade
April 06, 2006
MEDIA Watch host Monica Attard and her executive producer Peter McEvoy issued an ultimatum yesterday to ABC’s new director of television, Kim Dalton: stop meddling or we will quit.

The staff at Media Watch are still fuming over the removal on Monday night of a story from the program’s line-up. It is believed to be the first time management has interfered significantly in editorial decisions since the program started in 1989 with barrister Stuart Littlemore as its first host.

Attard and McEvoy believe the story was removed not for legal reasons but because it was not in the corporate interests of the public broadcaster.

After seeing the Media Watch script late on Monday, acting managing director Murray Green and Dalton further consulted legal advisers and directed the story be dropped.

The censored item was about a Melbourne woman who is suing the ABC for breach of privacy.

In two radio bulletins broadcast on the ABC in 2002, the victim of a rape was identified, which is against the law.

The victim, whose husband was convicted for the rape, is suing the ABC for breach of privacy and seeking compensation and aggravated damages.

The woman told the court after the broadcasts she felt as if the “whole world knew” she had been raped.

The national broadcaster’s media watchdog was going to make the point that a legal precedent may be set if she was successful, which could affect media reporting.

Although the story had been cleared by in-house lawyers, Green and Dalton said it may be seen by the magistrate hearing the case as the ABC exerting pressure on her.

Monday’s program reported on the internal tension.

“We had hoped to tell you about an ongoing legal matter involving the ABC, but late today Media Watch was directed not to broadcast that story,” Attard told viewers before reading out a statement provided to the program by Dalton: “It is not appropriate for the ABC to comment on the matter before the courts in which the ABC is involved where the perception may arise where the ABC is attempting to influence the outcome of the court’s deliberations.”

Sources insist, however, that the item was not a comment on the case but a simple report of the facts in the case, which were of significant interest to the media industry.

Last night sources told Media the meeting with Dalton was lengthy and constructive and no one was threatening to quit the program. However, if Dalton takes a heavy-handed approach to the program, he may find himself with a fight on his hands. Media Watch was axed by previous managing director Jonathan Shier and then reinstated by former director of television Sandra Levy. Although she was a hands-on director, Levy did not meddle, former presenter David Marr has said.

1 comment April 7th, 2006 at 12:12pm

Samuel’s Footy Tips

Another week, more footy tips.

AFL Round 2
Tigers V Saints
Cats V Kangaroos
Bulldogs V Demons
Lions V Bombers
Dockers V Blues
Swans V Power
Hawks V Magpies
Crows V Eagles

NRL Round 5
Cowboys V Tigers
Broncos V Rabbitohs
Sharks V Roosters
Dragons V Knights
Warriors V Eagles
Eels V Panthers
Raiders V Bulldogs


2 comments April 7th, 2006 at 09:30am

Samuel’s Blog Year In Review: August 2005

August started off with me outlining some of the reasons why I don’t like Internet Explorer, and celebrating the Horse’s Birthday (thanks to John Kerr’s show for informing me of this interesting event).

The first Blog View Stats post appeared, but was just a copy of the Webstat stats, with no analysis.

It was around this time that I started to become annoyed with the services of, and contemplated moving to WordPress.

I also rang George Gibson for the first and only time, attempted to solve his brain teaser puzzle, and amused him (for the record, the answer was that the swimmer was naked).

Lawsie had his 70th birthday and got quite a nice cake.

I had some fun with some scammers on the phone, who insisted that they wouldn’t stand on me…but still wanted my credit card number.

Windows Media Player asked me the same question ten times in a row.

Samuel In Dolgnwot ended with a double image finale.

Schnappi reached sixth on the ARIA charts.

I declared City News to be the worst newspaper in the country, whilst Queensland Parks and Wildlife went on a shooting spree.

Tree Of Life wanted to hire an acting assistant manager and experts contemplated releasing tigers and elephants throughout the US.

I officially Joined AIR News and bought the domain name as well as some hosting, and eventually moved the blog over to it.

Just before the move, SBS continued their downward spiral with a very odd and impossible to answer viewer poll question, which they changed when they showed the responses.

I spent a fair bit of time fixing up the new site and the old posts, something I’m still slowly doing.

I found out that the video from my Linux.Conf.Au seminar would not be able to go ahead due to further audio problems.

Somebody decided to put some shopping baskets on street lamps.

I spent a bit too much time thinking about the answer to the previously mentioned brain teaser question.

Statistics on the new site went haywire, informing me that 295% of people added the site to favourites/bookmarks.

After nearly eight months, PC User sent me my prize for writing the letter of the month, supermarkets employed some very odd and covert methods of checking competitor prices and I stapled myself.

There was some further proof that Coffee is good for you and I noticed some of the odd spammer names.

The month ended with the CSIRO conducting sheep intelligence tests and me finishing the categorising of old posts.

Tomorrow morning we will look back on September.


2 comments April 7th, 2006 at 07:00am

Blog View Stats for March

It’s that time of the month again, so here are the stats for March.

The Webstat reports for March can be found here

There were 15,478 page views in March, down from 18,327 in February, and 4,710 visitors, down from 5,025 in February.

There were 5,955 views of the front page on all of its URLs.

The most popular articles were:

Google remained the most popular search engine, followed by Yahoo, and MSN.

The search keywords were mostly various combinations and misspellings of my name, and variations of “schnappi video”. Among the odd keywords were

  • curious articles
  • podcaster anonymous rings in once a week
  • grass drill machine for doors
  • channel 9 free cricket to watch
  • uses os circular motion
  • clarkconnect with lamp
  • peep holes in public bathroom
  • Reason Like Pineapples
  • rambling “and my god have mercy on your soul” “no points”
  • what to do when confused
  • blog fire alarm control panel
  • “a 90 minute” “47 minutes”
  • Samuel 30 “3 – 6”
  • sign owned by cord excavations
  • practice conversation in the restuarant
  • 021-52242591

Internet Explorer dropped a couple percentage points but was still the most popular browser with 62.98% of the readership, Firefox gained nearly as much as Internet Explorer lost, and was next with 32.27%, and Safari seemed to pick up the slack on 3.75%. Opera, Netscape, Mozilla and Konqueror were all under 1%.

Windows was the most popular Operating System with 86.67% of the readership, followed by Mac with 12.53%, and Linux with 0.78%. Windows had a minor drop, as did Linux, which seemed to be picked up by Mac.

Australia, The US and Japan and The UK topped the Countries, with 83.76%, 5.59%, 4.52% and 2.09% of the readership respectively, which seems to show that people in countries outside of Australia are taking a growing interest in this blog.

The most popular files for the month were:

The top referring sites for the month were:

March 2006: 12,350MB
February 2006 9,280MB
January 2006: 14,240MB
December 2005: 14,010MB
November 2005: 2,870MB
October 2005: 657.85MB
September 2005: 519.89MB
August 2005: 82.93MB

Samuel’s Persiflage Statistics

RSS Feed Downloads
Month Downloads
March 2006 1392
Febrauary 2006 815
January 2006 1661
December 2005 150
Total 4018

Downloads in March
Episode High
Quality Version
Quality Version
3 (February 2006) 84 43 127
2 (January 2006) 125 N/A 125
1 (December 2006) 71 N/A 71
Total 280 43 323

Episode 3 Downloads
Month High
Quality Version
Quality Version
March 2006 84 43 127
February 2006 81 39 120
Total 165 82 247

Episode 2 Downloads
Month Downloads
March 2006 125
February 2006 98
January 2006 144
Total 367

Episode 1 Downloads
Month Downloads
March 2006 71
February 2006 64
January 2006 291
December 2006 80
Total 506


April 7th, 2006 at 04:26am

Samuel’s Coffee-Cup-O-Meter

3 x Standard Mugs (1 Point Each) = 3 Points
Total = 3 Points


2 comments April 7th, 2006 at 02:43am


April 2006

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