The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

The Verandah, pork-barrelling, and syndication

Wednesday 15 August 2007 at 9:14 am
  • I haven’t seen much comment about yesterday’s announcement from the new director of PIAF to dump the Beck’s Verandah and replace it with a “Music Box” on the Esplanade (presumably using the much-vaunted but really not that great stage built there by the City of Perth). I admire the goals of bringing the music closer to the city centre and strengthening the new urban axis along the underground line … but wasn’t a lit-up Concert Hall half the appeal?
  • Team Howard is going to drop two hundred million in the pockets of Internet filtering vendors to automate the task of supervising kids with Internet connections. Putting the politics aside (at least this is an opt-in policy), someone should tell them how the modern Internet renders such software useless. Many filters still use the old blacklisting method, which might have worked with old-school porn sites, but what about an XMLHttpRequest from Gmail with porn spam? And the vendors have only recently figured out how to monitor BitTorrent clients, nevermind the minefield of MySpace (block it to create a huge incentive to disable your software, or allow it and try to distinguish between innocent messages and porn spam friend requests …).
  • An anecdote: during a recent unexpected visit, a member of my extended family made a passing remark that “at least the Federal conservatives aren’t spending up big like Labor would” — and do, apparently, in the State. But I’m reminded of the striking similarities in both tiers’ budgets from May: no shortage of vote-buying, but at least both were responsible enough to not touch funds allocated to basic services. That is, assuming you don’t think those services need extra funding. (If ever I doubted the second-year lecturer who said class is a minor factor in Australian elections, I need only look at my family — it’s almost entirely working-class, but hosts quite a few Liberal supporters.)
  • Finally, for the LiveJournal users in the audience: ever wanted to read this blog from your friends page? Courtesy of Alex, now you can!