Real estate dictionary

We're looking at houses and we've encountered plenty of real estate jargon. Here's some handy descriptions to benefit others.

  • cute and cosy: tiny
  • easy maintenance courtyard: concrete courtyard
  • stroll to shops, transport and ameneties: on a major road
  • great for first-home buyers: a lifetime of repairs or knock it down and build your second home on the land (courtesy of Kaz)
  • studio: answer the door, put the kettle on, change channels on the telly and surf the net all without having to get up off the toilet (ripped off from Guardian some years ago)

Got any more to add?

Hilf is right about one thing

The community if abuzz about Hilf's provocative comments. Let's be realistic, comments like "The Free Software movement is dead" are solely designed to get headlines. Nothing more, nothing less, and anyone who quotes it back to you as a way of making a point isn't worth talking to. Too bad I initially read the headline as "MILF says free software is dead".

But he is right on one point: Apache, MySQL and PHP are the "Visual Basic of open source." Yep, it's just as easy to write buggy, shit code with a toy database behind it as with VB and Jet. Perhaps the only difference is that unlike with VB, you probably don't have work around so many bugs in the actual programming environment.

Matt's bucks night

Matt in shopping trolley

We went out for Matt's bucks night on Saturday night, and a good time had by all. We started in the Australian Youth Hotel in Glebe, then headed to the dogs at Wentworth Park. After the races we had a quick one at the AYH again, then wandered up City Road and King Street.

By 3am the only place that would let a large group of drunken blokes in ended up being The Imperial. I'm not much of a fan of empires, but I've always had a soft spot for this place. Where else can you stagger into at 3am to watch the World's Worst Drag Show (no really they were that bad!) and keep drinking until 5am?

All in all, a great night out. Amazingly, Matt got up at 09:30am to go and play football!

I took some photos

Those of you who are overseas and interstate but know Matt and Maz, get your telegrams into me for the wedding.

Private health insurance redux

James Hamilton points out that the government has a new site for comparing health funds, kind of on the road to what I described.

The problem is, the information it gives you is extremely limited, and isn't anywhere near comprehensive enough for consumers to make an informed decision. For example, it gives no information about which hospitals you can use with each fund. It's not much point finding a great, cheap health fund that covers everything you want when the only hospitals covered are in Dubbo and you live in Sydney.

The database Choice had (and will have again in July) attempted to resolve this particular problem with some measures of hospital coverage. The problem they have is they're trying to rationalize information from master obfuscators, and in that battle the obfuscators will always win as they have the information advantage.

The government site is a good start, but they need to go much, much further in forcing the insurers to supply information in standardized ways so that direct comparisons can be made.

I'm still waiting on the paperwork from the fund I chose. I suspect they're going to try and give me as little of the one month cooling-off period as possible so that I can't sit down and analyze the fine print. If it hasn't arrived by the end of next week, I'm inclined to cancel it on principle.

Budget speech as tag cloud

Crikey has rendered last night's budget speech as a tag cloud which is a very clever thing to do. Interesting to see that the word "reform" doesn't even make it into the cloud. Nor "environment" or "greenhouse", though "climate" rates six mentions, but he could be talking about the financial climate.

Would be interesting to see the UK's budget speeches done similarly. With Gordon Brown's speeches, I'm sure his good friend Prudence would rate highly.

How out of touch is the Treasurer?

One of the most jarring points made by smirk-meister Costello in last night's Budget was his comments about part-time workers. It really shows a man out of touch with the real world.

People who are working part-time, most people of $30,000 or less are working part time, to do additional work, to put in some more hours to build the capacity of the Australian workforce. - Source: Budget Lock-up press conference

I suspect you'd find that a very large proportion of people earning $30,000 or less are actually full-time workers with crappy McJobs. Given that those on the minimum wage are earning $484.50 per week, that works out to around $25,194 give or take leave loading. These are full-time workers, though I guess some of the nice Mosman Mums who go back to a few hours of part-time paralegal work might benefit too.