Archive for the “” Category

I kinda failed to write this post BEFORE I left the house a few days ago.  Yeah, I know, bad bad me!  However, I think that most of you are aware that I am heading off overseas for a month very soon (in two more days, as a matter of fact), and so posts from me shall be rare, and full of boring real life stuff like photos of me half killing myself skiing, being ill when confronted with the possibility of eating sushi – I don’t like cooked fish, let alone raw fish.  Or anything else that lives in water, for that matter.  Except calamari.  Nom – being buried alive in snow, etc etc.

So, if you really find the whole idea of a month of random RL Sar disgusting, as I would myself if I weren’t me (and totally unaware of how awesome I am), feel free to tune me out until the start of February.  No WoW posts ‘til then.  I even left my authenticator living on its little hook at home!  So… unless you want completely unqualified waffle….

Yes, I am aware that’s nothing new. Thanks for pointing that out, person just like the kid in the supermarket (You know, the one who loudly points out all the fat people?)

Ahem… Unless you want completely unqualified waffle, I suggest you spend the month lurking on the EJ forums or something. 

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This is not a WoW post.  However, I think it is a very important issue, and one which people should be aware of regardless of where they live.  If it happens here, a country which is considered to be fairly democratic, it could plausibly happen anywhere.  That’s not scare mongering either… just a logical assertion.

However, feel free to mark as ‘read’, as it is a bit of a political rant.  And it’s kinda long.  Sorry.

Three days ago, news broke that the Australian Government’s internet filter (dubbed ‘Clean Feed’) has been given the green light, and will be introduced in Parliament next year.  Clean Feed is a filter which will be implemented at ISP level to block inappropriate and illegal material.  The filter will be compulsory for all ISPs to implement, and I am sure it will also be part of the law that users can not attempt to bypass the filter through anonymous proxies.   The government, in all their wisdom, have determined that blocking this material will ‘protect our children’ and will be ‘in the best interests of all Australians’.  Such material will be blocked on the basis of its ‘classification’.  Anything which is marked ‘Refused Classification’ will be blocked.

Of course, there have been mixed reactions to the filter – while a vast majority of Australians are against the filter, some people have gone as far as accusing those who are against it of being ‘pro-child porn’ and other various things.  Extremists on the other side of the argument have said ‘This is just the beginning of extreme government censorship’.  I myself don’t really subscribe to either of those views, but I do have some serious problems with this legislation.

1.  Who determines what is acceptable to be filtered?

The initial media coverage said the filter would cut illegal internet content such as “child sex abuse, bestiality, sexual violence or detailed information about how to use drugs or commit crimes”.  Now, I have serious doubts as to whether a couple of those things are actually ‘illegal content’ – and I know that one of those is legislated on a State level in Australia, not a Federal one, but that’s a moot point.  Today, there were media reports that the test filter was catching a large amount of harmless Refused Classification material, such as gay porn and fetish material.  Attempting to block illegal material is noble, in a misguided sense, I guess.  Blocking material that goes against mainstream moral values?  Totally disgusting and inappropriate.  One ISP involved in the test run reported large amounts of customer complaints because the filter had mistakenly blocked redtube. 

2.  The testing process was inherently flawed.

9 ISP’s volunteered to test the content filter.  Of these, only one ISP is considered to be of significant size.  Many of the others are small ISPs with a very specific clientele (one of these ISPs reported that only 1% of their client base was willing to be a part of the trial.  That amounted to 15 people).  The feedback from the ISPs involved has been minimal – Optus, the only large ISP to participate, refused to comment to the media.  There is not enough information publicly available about the trial and its results.

3.  Australia does not want or need a further slow down of speeds.

The government claims that the filter will not reduce speeds or cause issues in any way.  Unfortunately, the government has shown a lack of understanding of how the internet works.  I could go on about this all day.  Or, if you are actually interested, you could go read this (fantastic interview with the leaders of Telstra, Internode and iiNet – the three largest ISPs in Australia). 

TL;DR version of the article?

  • “Filtering technology, he [Hackett, from Internode] says, is the "antithesis to the notion that we all want to go faster" on the internet. "This stuff will actually make things go slower,"
  • “It’s invasive meaning it is expensive [to implement], and invasive in the sense that installing it in our network is complicated and may in fact cause outages." – Hackett, Internode
  • “"If the stuff goes a bit wrong it will start blocking other content. The trouble is, the internet’s not just web browsers. Other applications that are using the internet may get mistaken for things that are pulling that content and might get blocked or messed with in strange ways." – Hackett, Internode
  • “The idea of having some sort of fairly loose regulations and saying to ISPs, look, you have the capacity to do X, Y or Z and we’d like you to do that is crazy," he says. "If we start doing things like cutting people off on the basis of doing file-sharing, for example, we could finish up breaking laws. We could certainly lend ourselves liable to being sued for wrongfully cutting people off." – Milne, Telstra Bigpond
  • “"If the Federal Government says we are going to stop certain sorts of objectionable content, what on earth is the definition of bad here?" asks Hackett. "Is it the Federal Government’s definition of bad?”
  • “"I do worry that this is the thin edge of the wedge," he said. "That the Government will come in with a small list of sites for the ISP to block, and that just includes the real stuff that everyone agrees on like child porn and bestiality. So we say, OK we are willing to comply with that. But it becomes an area then that can be used for so much more. So you might see the next step is an attempt to block out XXX sites or hate speech sites, and you think, OK maybe we can live with that [too].  But then after that it could be to block out competing political positions or to block out sites about religion or sexual orientation that the Government says is no longer suitable for children in Australia." – Malone, iiNet

Sure, I don’t want children being able to see inappropriate material.  However, we should not all be subjected to the government’s method of controlling this.  Legislated morality?  How is that going to help anyone?  Educate parents and children about the internet.  Encourage parents to supervise their children on the internet.  Spend the money developing a client side filter that a teenager isn’t going to bypass in a few seconds.  Don’t foist your flawed filter on all Australians.

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I am home from my little holiday with the kiddies (a.k.a. end of year excursion), utterly exhausted and sunburnt to all hell.  Since I have been away for a while, of course there has been no posting (lazy lock was lazy and did not bother pre-writing posts).

Anyway, my extended absence has meant that I need your help.  That includes you in the back there!

I want you guys to suggest some stuff for me to write about.  Anything at all.  What have you always wanted to know about Warlocks?  What questions have you always wanted to ask?  Fire away!  I need some inspiration, and it’s time for you guys at the reading end of things to do some of the work for me ;-)

So how about it?  What do YOU want to hear about?

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A Non-WoW post.  Feel free to mark as read.

As pretty much all of you are no doubt aware, I am embarking on my first big trip at the end of the year, off to Japan, then Canada and the US.  In some ways, I am really looking forward to this holiday, but in other ways I am dreading it.

Why?

Well… I can say with 99.9% certainty that I will not have as much money as I would like.  That’s just a given.

I’m also a bit nervous about travelling on my own through the US and Canada.  Now, I know that it’s perfectly safe… I’m just more worried about the fact it’s all so unfamiliar to me.  I don’t have the first clue where I am going, what there is to do, or anything like that.  I think I’ll just be winging it.  Hell, I don’t even know where I’ll be staying yet… or how I’ll get from the airport to anywhere else.  I’ll probably just go with backpacker’s hostels, and if I can manage to scab free accommodation anywhere along the way, that’s a bonus.

I’m kinda hoping I can meet people along the way as well.  Of course, this all depends where I end up going.  And, for that, I am really looking for input from you guys.  After all, more of you would be familiar with places to go and what not than I would!

So, here’s the VERY vague itinerary I have planned.

28th December:  Fly out to Tokyo and meet my sister.  Crash at her place for free – huzzah!

30th December – 4th Jan: Ski trip in Japan with my sister, her boyfriend, and one of his mates.  I have a horrible feeling this will involve me rolling down hills, possibly breaking bones.

6th January: Fly from Tokyo to Vancouver.  Only a 9 hour flight I think, which is fairly tolerable all in all – that’s about how long it takes me to drive from my place to my parents’ anyway

…  Not sure what the hell I am doing from this point on, until

26th January: Fly out of LA back to Sydney.  Means I am spending Australia Day on a stinking plane.  What a rort.

Things I –think- I want to do:

  • Is ice hockey even played at that time of year?… I would imagine it would be, being winter and all.  I figure, you should really see a game of ice hockey if you are going to Canada.
  • I’d say skiing, but I am doing that in Japan.  And I probably couldn’t afford another ski trip.  And I think a ski trip would suck on your own.
  • Go to Washington along the way, since, hell, I’ll probably have to go through there anyway!
  • I’d consider a trip to Vegas, but again, Vegas sounds kinda lame on your own.  And I am really not sure how far away it is.
  • Hit San Francisco… not sure why, but it sounds good.

So, I was wondering – what sort of things should most definitely be on my to-do list?  While I prefer cheap, since I am kinda broke, I am willing to spend a bit of cash where necessary.  If people also know some good, inexpensive places to stay along the way, well… that would rock as well.

And I have already vetoed hiring a car.  The weird backwards roads over there scare me too much!

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You all thought ToC was tough.  (Oh, wait, that was just a dream I had one time… never mind, carry on).  However, it has nothing on…

The Epic Desk Boss of Doom!

desk a

Let’s just say my work desk was a little… disorganised.  The damn thing would have crap falling off it as soon as look at it.  It was like the world’s most persistent DoT… just when you think it’s under control, oh look, something else fell off!  I ended up having to do my work at a totally different desk because I couldn’t even sit at mine anymore.

So… I spent half a day fighting the good fight.  I threw trash cans at it, I threw folders and files at it, I used everything I had in my arsenal…  and it didn’t seem to be enough.  I was frantically watching the clock tick down (because no way in HELL was I working back on the last day of term!), and… well…

desk bStill not perfect, but… I have a floor!  And desk space!  And a chair!

And, my Year 12’s made me an award *sniffle*.  I didn’t cry, but damn I was close to it.  I’ll miss those guys, even if they did drive me batshit crazy!

award

Yes, this probably belongs more on the RL blog.  But, it has my name on it, so it can’t go there…

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Not much on the WoW front to report (despite the patch coming out!) because of this nasty occurance taking up all my time and energy.  I still haven’t managed to clean up all the mess!

Oh well, on the bright side, my new Dyson got a great workout.  The damn thing sucks hard, almost as hard as I suck at DPSing!

I am sure I’ll have more to report when I take a stab (or two… or three) at Onyxia.  I will also make the whole video of my ony kill tonight (the damn thing takes so long to actually make that I’ll have to leave it while I am sleeping).  Trying to decide whether I will use the same song as on the short film, or choose a different one.

Really… nothing much more to say.  Nothing of importance at all.

 

 

 

 

 

…. Oh.

Did I mention that I don’t think I will be quitting WoW?  However, I –might- be transferring my Druid over.  However, that will require me to get another toon to 80 on Cenarius.  I need something to hang around on over there!

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This seems to be happening more and more, but I am really in lethargic holiday mode at the moment, so tonight is going to be a quick and easy post, and tomorrow is going to be a much more thoughtful ‘Let’s deconstruct Sar’s spec’ post.  I just don’t have the thoughtful in me at the moment.  Part of that is holiday mode, part of that was the nightmarish Naxx25 pug I did today… part of that is just me being lazy.  So, without further ado, THIS picture shows the main reason why I was gone for all of last week.

grad

Yay, I am officially no longer a student!  Huzzah!  Unfortunately, in this photo I look very undignified with my robe half falling off.  What is a girl to do? My hat also REALLY hated staying on my head, which kinda sucked.  Still, I was very happy – I managed to scrape into 2nd class Honours (if I can’t brag on my own blog, where can I?) – of course, that immediately caused my very thoughtful father to ask me how much I missed out on First Class Honours by!  Realistically… if I wasn’t lazy as all get out last semester I may just have gotten First Class, but I was pretty happy with Second.

And, yes, my shirt DOES have stupid fabric flowers stitched to it.  So sue me, I occasionally wear girly frilly stuff.

Spec post incoming tomorrow guys!

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Just a friendly notice to let you all know that blog posts are going to be few and far between for the next week while I am at home for Easter.

 

Have a happy and safe holiday everyone, see you soon!

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So, since I was asked exactly what sorts of goodies I would be bringing if I went to Blizzcon, I guess I had best give you all a run down of the plan.

Mission Statement

To get a ticket to Blizzcon, book my travel and accommodation, and bring lots of nommy treats.  You American types need to be shown what REAL food is!

The Plan

  • Get ticket to Blizzcon (easier said than done)
  • Take food in luggage without it being confiscated (research on this has given me mixed feedback)
  • Have some sort of ‘I shall meet whoever wants to be met at X venue after Blizzcon and we shall share nommies!’  I am thinking some sort of… um… park?  I have no idea.  I will find someway to share nommies with people anyway.  It must be done!

The nommies

  • Arnott’s Tim Tams – I have heard that the chocolate is somehow produced by child labour, which is a concern, I must admit.  However, they are also compellingly addictive, and Arnotts have issued a statement saying the chocolate is ethically A-OK!
  • Vegemite: Because everyone has to try Vegemite at least once in their lifetime.  This one is a bit concerning, as there is a limit on liquids and ‘gel-like substances’
  • Likewise, I have been asked to bring Australian beer, but that might be difficult.
  • Dunkaroos!
  • Very tempted to bring a Pavlova base… but… they are very fragile.  Besides, they aren’t the easiest thing to cart around
  • Clinkers!  Chicos!  Yay for lollies!

In Other News

I should really announce the winner of the Shirt contest.  I give up on uploading the video, since YouTube and I are having disagreements.  YouTube just hates my phone. 

*drumroll*…. the winner was Siha!  Now, I am just awaiting an email back from her :-)

Have not played WoW all week.  Running around like a headless chook.  Also found out the other Year 12 English teacher is leaving, so I am freaking the hell out (puts a LOT of responsibility on my shoulders).  Exams at school are coming up, assessment tasks are being written…. everything is very chaotic.  Hence the lack of regular posts.  I shall try to do one tomorrow.

Nearly the holidays!  I’ll be afk for a week… going home.  Since my laptop is currently borked, I will have to send it off for repairs, so I won’t be playing WoW.  I might blog occasionally, but I wouldn’t count on it!

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So, I have a list of complaints at the moment which would fill a whole toilet paper roll and then some… head ache, tooth ache, insomnia, work sucking… let’s just say I am not the happiest or calmest of Warlocks at this present time.

This of course, also means that I really do not want to write.  I mean, come on!  My head hurts!  My mouth hurts!  I am at the point of throwing my head through a window from stress.  So… rather than burden you all with my incredibly grouchy writings… go read this.

I wrote it a long time ago now, but it is still much more entertaining that what I could come up with today.  One comment I would like to make before anyone says it: I DID feign!  The mobs were just too high for me and it got resisted.

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