The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Water, Web sites, and the World Bank

  • My apologies to those of you waiting on e-mail from me — regular service might be returned shortly. Um, maybe.
  • On the new desalination plant, I am hesitantly supportive, although I’m scratching my head as to why building in Binningup is so much more expensive than Kwinana. I’m also at a loss to understand why yesterday’s West Australian claimed it was bad for the long-term — not being reliant on rainfall is supposed to be a good thing! (On that note, this is pretty funny.)
  • However, I agree that Maxine Murray is on to something in complaining about political influence in the public service: there’s certainly little evidence that Tuesday’s decision was made on formal advice. But everywhere I look there seems to be different opinions on whether this is a sensible solution or not, and whether it was right to “cave in to” / “acknowledge” / “finally listen to” pressure groups who didn’t want the Yarragadee tapped.
  • Deeper in the guts of yesterday’s paper lay an article about Twitter. It repeats the “X is the next MySpace!” cliché, and it muddles some terminology — but given that page 5 called Alan Carpenter the “predecessor” of Geoff Gallop, I can forgive that. It also quotes Tama, and therefore earns instant not-completely-clueless points ;-) Oh, and my take on how its owners intend to not go broke is the same as his — my four-year-old phone supports a vaguely similar service that never won much support, but Twitter could use its popularity to con phone makers into paying licensing fees for an enhanced interface or something.
  • I reserve judgement on the State Opposition’s “Plan for Perth” task force. As with the housing affordability task force of months past, there’s a chance it’ll produce interesting new suggestions and give the Liberals ammunition for the next election, but given that all we’ve seen out of them so far is cheap point-scoring that disagrees with anything and everything, I’m not holding out hope.
  • [World Bank ad entitled 'Women Empowerment'] The World Bank has been purchasing Adsense recently. (Like, WTF? A UN bureaucracy. Buying advertising. From Google?) I first saw this text ad on Pandagon, which is an increasingly-rare case of the big G’s matching algorithms working (I can imagine some readers of that blog might actually want to read their report), and a few days ago I saw this banner on PerthNorg. Is this an on-the-cheap attempt to improve PR in the wake of the ongoing scandal?
  • Finally, a geeky discovery: the Etchasketchist. I cannot begin to describe how awesome this dude’s blog and Flickr account are.

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