Well that's good. Fantastic. That gives us 20 minutes to save the world and I've got a post office. And it's shut!

Sunday, October 10


All Over Bar The Drinking

Well, today is voting day here in Oz. Voting doesn't finish for a few hours yet, due to Perth, which is always running late. And so, in a few hours, we will know.

Are we in for a fourth term of John Howard's decent and sensible (if unremarkable) leadership? Or will I spend the next four years apologising for my government?

I plan to go to sleep tonight without checking anything anywhere, and then tomorrow morning I'll take a look at Tim Blair's site. And spend the day re-installing my Linux box, either way.

My Windows box seems to... Work. Yes, I have it booting to a RAID-5 volume. Writing to RAID-5 is rather slow - the benchmark I ran only gave me 12MB/s. But reading from it, I sustained just on 100MB/s, which is all you're going to get from a standard PCI slot. Overall, not unhappy, once I got the BIOS and the drivers sorted out. (Yes, the drivers were also immensely sucky.)

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Friday, October 08



Near my house there are two large plastic signs telling me I should Vote Greens - which someone has thoughtfully nailed to a couple of trees. The trees were not available for comment at time of publication.

Anyway, Bernie Slattery has the inside scoop on what colour the Greens really are. Hint: You might as well call them the Watermelon Party.*

Don't miss their 40-point plan for new and increased taxes. including a 33% surcharge (on top of the current top marginal rate of around 50%) for people-who-earn-more-than-is-good-for-them. And the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by - wait for it - 100%. Which means that all those cuddly animals will have to go - after all, we can't have them breathing, now can we?

I've touched on Bob Brown's insane policies before. This is what Slatts has to say:

They are political extremists whose policies borrow equally from the textbooks of Hitler and Stalin.

Of course, Australians are too sensible to put up with totalitarianism and should the Greens achieve any measure of power it would be short-lived.

But remember Whitlam. Much damage can be achieved in a short time by ideologues and their useful idiots.

* Okay: Green on the outside and red on the inside.**
** And I won't mention that the leader of the Australian Greens is Bob Brown.

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Wednesday, October 06


Smart Money

Lately I've been growing more comfortable that George Bush will be re-elected and John Kerry banished howling into the outer darkness, and that all will be right and proper in America again. Not that I'm a huge fan of most of Bush's policies, but I strongly agree with his foreign policy, and have nothing but contempt for Kerry. If the Democrats had nominated Lieberman, it would be a very different story, but that didn't happen in this universe.

Here in Australia I haven't been nearly as comfortable, with Mark Latham, a character nearly as contemptible as Kerry, stubbornly refusing to self-destruct. Until this week, when he signed on to the Green's tree-hugging policies to secure their preferences (Australia uses a preferential voting system, where votes for a losing candidate are directed to one of the other candidates, until only two are left).

Unfortunately for Latham, the traditional constituency of his Labor Party is, well, workers. Including forestry workers. And the trade unions are very influential in the Labor Party as well. And Latham just pissed them off royally. Smart money says his greenie-grabbing tactics have scuttled his ship.

Which smart money? This smart money. Click on "Elections" in the left-hand menu.

A dollar bet on the Coalition (John Howard, the good guys) would return just $1.16 for a win (at 10 AM Wednesday October 6, just three days before the election). A dollar on Labor would return $4.50.

By comparison, a dollar on George Bush returns $1.50, against $2.40 for Kerry.

Tim Blair has more.

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Tuesday, October 05


The Second Space Age

SpaceShipOne has landed safely after a second successful flight to the edge of space in under a week.

Scaled Composites, led by Burt Rutan, has done it!

Transterrestrial Musings was live-blogging the event.

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