The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Russia, China, night buses, and the Google OS

Thursday 9 July 2009 at 11:30 pm
  • Ever wonder what American lawmakers do all day? Pointless dedications, apparently.
  • Meanwhile, President Obama has been off doing promising work to get new commitments towards nuclear weapons reduction. But I wonder: even with a superstar leader in Washington, is the Russian government really that keen on cooperating?
  • Hearing about the Rio exec detained in China worries me; Australia’s relationship with China is crucially important, and being that they’re a communist dictatorship it’s easier to anger them than your average liberal democracy. So while the scandal will inevitably pass, I hope no real economic damage is done. (Also, I’m chuffed that yesterday’s ABC article quoted my honours supervisor!)
  • In announcing yet more service cuts (sigh), the WA transport minister is quoted as saying taxis are preferred over NightRider; admittedly I never saw a full one of those buses, but seriously? You don’t think that could possibly be because the routes weren’t ideal or there wasn’t enough promotion? Heck, even the Bay Area (and most big US cities) run 24-hour buses on major routes that are slow-but-decent (despite the times I’ve seen shift workers outnumbered by creepy homeless people).
  • And finally, Fake Steve Jobs at his finest, explaining why Google’s Chrome OS announcement is barely worth caring about despite all the blog hype: “As Sarah Palin would say, the engineers at Google are ambitionistic about wanting to progress the world, and gosh, ya know what? That’s darn good for everyone.”
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My new DVD hardware

Friday 5 January 2007 at 11:44 pm

I have recently come into posssession of an LG V181 combo VCR and DVD player. It’s fun! and exciting! and not very expensive!

Our new LG V181 VCR+DVD combo

Amazingly (considering the price) it does quite a good job dealing with DivX and Xvid files. The only problems I’ve found are with high bitrates, where it (unsurprisingly) struggles, and with a memory leak that seems to occasionally hit long files, causing the audio to fall out of sync.

And thanks to this thread I found the means to make it region-free: open the disc tray, press 0000, and disable the region lock by pressing 0 again.

Unrelatedly: yay Russia for winning their first Hopman Cup! But boo to the official Web site, which still hasn’t been updated with the news.