January 2007 Archives

TVB Bias

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I was watching the news as usual last night, where the latest smirking speech by the drooling chimp in the white House was covered.

As usual in these cases, a few words from a token Democrat were shown. Last night it was Hillary Clinton saying "He's showing us nothing new".

so far, so ordinary, but then, the reporter for TVB news contradicted Clinton and *defended* Bush's speech by saying something like "But that's not true. He proposed Health Care reforms and lessening dependence on foreign oil".

Since when is it the job of a reporter to issue judgments like that?

(Anyway, Clinton was right: Health care reforms and lessening dependence on foreign oil have been a drum the Democrats have been beating for years. And Bush's health care reforms are ridiculous - they're a minor tax-break, which will have almost no impact for most of the 45 million Americans with no health insurance.)

TVB News seems to be going downhill faster and faster these days. But at least they got rid of David Nye, The Anchor Guy.

Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers


Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their ”immortality„. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Movable Type 3.34


I've upgraded to MT3.34 which has FastCGI compliance built in. To get this working with Fedora Core 6 I had to do the following:

As a normal user, go to your installation directory and unpack the MT archive, then

[odaiwai@gizmo ]$ cp mt-comments.cgi mt-comments.fcgi

[odaiwai@gizmo ]$ cp mt.cgi mt.fcgi

[odaiwai@gizmo ]$ cp mt-search.cgi mt-search.fcgi

[odaiwai@gizmo ]$ cp mt-tb.cgi mt-tb.fcgi

[odaiwai@gizmo ]$ cp mt-view.cgi mt-view.fcgi

As root, you'll need to install the following files:

[root@gizmo ]# yum install mod_fgcid perl-FCGI*

If you don't have the dries repository, you can always install the perl with:

[root@gizmo ]# perl -MCPAN -e shell

CPAN: File::HomeDir loaded ok

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.8802)

ReadLine support enabled

cpan[1]> install FCGI

I haven't noticed any great increase in speed so far.



Slightly disappointed last night to find that Carnegies has got an exemption to the smoking ban. Those few weeks when it was smoke free were quite pleasant. Still, there wasn't too many people puffing away last night, so it wasn't too bad.

We were in the Wanch last Friday night, and even there was smoke free! Pretty amazing, if you're familiar with the Wanch. We left after one drink because the band ("The North") were pretty dreadful. Guys, use your payment from the gig and buy some guitar tuners. Please.

Winter in Hong Kong

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Ah, it's that time of year when no one seems to be able to make the connection between it being cold outside, it being cold inside, and all the windows being open.

Does anyone in Asia south of, say, Shanghai and north of, oh, Sydney have a single clue about keeping your home warm?

Watching the Keynote (I wish)


I came back home tonight and sat down to watch the much anticipated Macworld 2007 Keynote Speech. It started OK, and I got 17 minutes in, when all internet activity stopped. Not just on the mac, but on the Linux box as well. My router's fine, the local network is OK, but connections to the USA are poor to non-existent. I can't even ping apple.com, microsoft.com or whitehouse.gov!

Strangely enough, google.com works fine and google-owned blogspot.com is working well too. Score one for distributed content.

Unfortunately, a quick trawl of my regular blogs resulted in spoilers for the keynote, so ctrl-w/cmd-w, and read them after it's working. I stroll into the living room and the Chinese language news is showing excerpts from the Keynote! Aargh!

I don't know if this current internet outage is due to yet another earthquake, or just the huge demand which follows any Apple Keynote. Given that the entire USA appears to be intermittently out of touch and apple.com is not available. I'm guessing the latter.

It looks like it's not going to be possible to watch the keynote without advance knowledge of it's contents. Bah!

What do you think of the smoking ban?


Since January 1st 2007, smoking in most public places, such are bars and restaurants, has been illegal in Hong Kong. Surprisingly, given the local culture, the ban has been extremely effective. The first 'Golden Week' holiday, when buses of mainlanders come down, will be interesting as smoking is practically compulsory for men in China.

There has been an increase in whinging letters to the SCMP, though, as smokers are suddenly realising that they have to go outside to light up now:

What do you think of the smoking ban?

Everybody knows that with the latest smoking ban the suffering has shifted from non-smokers to smokers.

Smokers were already used to suppressing themselves in large restaurants out of respect for non-smokers. Surely this universal ban must be the last straw. Also, small cafe owners must now wonder whether non-smokers will take the place of smokers.

This is laughable. Smokers were most certainly not used to 'suppressing themselves in large restaurants out of respect for non-smokers'. Smokers were free to indulge their vice and blow their second hand smoke in the faces of those who wanted to be able to enjoy their food. Hong Kong restaurants never really took the concept of separating the smoking and non-smoking areas seriously. Frequently, the table next to you could be denoted as a smoking table and populated by a bunch of chain-smokers.

The last straw for what? An antisocial and harmful habit? Being forced to inhale second hand smoke when all you really want is some noodles?

As for suffering, pardon me while I roll my eyes. Whining about self-inflicted suffering is pathetic.

Smokers are now forced to smoke in the street. You will see more of them standing on the pavement in the coming weeks.

No one is forcing you to stand out in the cold wind. If you want to stay indoors, don't smoke. If you're not capable of going out for a drink or a meal without a cigarette perhaps you have an addiction?

Is this what we really want? Was this decision based on the majority of non-smokers and businesses or just a few?

Michael Cheung, Sham Shui Po

This decision was based on decades of research showing clearly that both first-hand and second hand smoke is very bad for your (and everyone else's) health. All this whinging about how your freedoms are being infringed means nothing because most smokers never cared about the freedom of non-smokers from noxious smoke.

You know something? It's nice to be able to go out for a drink and not return stinking like an ashtray. It's nice to go for yum cha and not have to deal with the constant wafting of smoke across the table. It's nice to be able to go to a restaurant and be able to taste your food, without being nauseated by the stink of stale tobacco.

It's not a restriction of your freedoms, it's a restoration of the balance between your freedoms and my freedoms. You're free to smoke, but you're not free to inflict your waste smoke on me. I'm free to enjoy my drink, but not free to piss on your leg.


Reluctant as I am to put Cricket in the 'Sports' category, I do so here.

The commentary on the BBC page is great: BBC SPORT | Cricket | The Ashes | Fifth Test, day four as it happened

1116: Eng 147-9

Warne might have over 700 Test wickets, and he might be about to finish his Test career with a spectacular thrashing of the old enemy, but can he stop Harmison slogging him through midwicket for four? No he cannot. It's like watching your house burn down, only to find a bonus 20p in the lining of your coat as you do so.

Quaked III

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Anecdotal evidence has revealed that those worst affected by the Great Internet Outage of 2006 are PCCW subscribers. Respondent A — a bloke I met in the pub — reported that he was still unable to connect to google.com, msn.com, or his mail server as of Saturday 20/12, four days post quake.

"[BLEEP]", he said when asked to comment on PCCW's quality control, "[BLEEP]ing mother[BLEEP]ing, [BLEEP][BLEEP]ing, [BLEEP]ers."


Respondent B, a dinner guest, was similarly unable to connect as of the last day of 2006.

Respondent C, the person to whom your present interlocutor is accustomed to referring to with the perpendicular pronoun, had the following tale of connection to the internet:

internet outage

Observe the blue and green lines, which document my ability to connect to google.com and google.ie (North America and North West Europe). After more than 24 hours of nothing, a slightly longer route allowed connections as normal, although with some latency issues.

The moral of the story seems to be to not use PCCW for an ISP.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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