The Dismissal

On this day thirty years ago, the most important event in Australian political history of my lifetime happened, and I was only four months old.

After the opposition Liberal (that is, conservative--yeah, weird isn't it?) party held the country to ransom by blocking supply, the unelected representative of our unelected head of state sacked the government. While, obviously, I don't remember these momentous events, they have shaped the history of my country.

What I think was the most disappointing aspect of the entire affair was that in the resulting election, the Australian people rewarded the party that had held a gun to their heads by making Fraser prime minister.

DRM: A cautionary tale; or: How to piss off you customers in one easy step

In a couple of weeks I'm running a murder mystery adventure. They're live role-playing events and lots of fun. Everyone dresses up as their character, someone gets killed and we all race around trying to find the murderer.

I've run these before and what you want to do is send out the character pages to the participants a few weeks beforehand, so they can dress appropriately and think about their character. Normally what I do is split the PDF (they're invariably PDFs, sold online) into each character and email it to the person playing that character.

So far so easy. Except... this time we bought off a company called Freeform Games and it seems they use PDF password protection. Digital Rights Management. What this means is that I _can't_ split the PDF. They expect me to print the pages out and get them to people -- all over London.

Fortunately we don't have the DMCA in Europe, yet so I can use tools to crack it. Gotta really hunt around to find the tools though. Found em -- thank you Skylarov!

I won't be buying off this company again!

Oh to be a fly on the wall

Riding past Madge's place it seems the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is on a state visit. Chinese flags on The Mall, and coppers everywhere.

I'd love to see the conversation between Hu and Bliar:

Tony: So Hu, how do you reconcile using socialist rhetoric while running a corporatist, totalitarian state? More tea?
Hu: You know I was going to ask you the same thing, Tony.


London Critical Mass 2005

Went to Mass tonight. Won't Mum be happy? Well, maybe not that kinda Mass :)

Was a huge turnout, following the porcine types' threats last month. Also an unseasonably warm night (17 degrees by my bike computer's probably inaccurate estimation) and a samba band. Fantastic fun. I had to duck off early, so only got about an hour or so of devotion in.

Photos here.

Being a geek is not a crime!

Very scary story from yesterday's Grauniad about a geek who was stopped and searched by coppers in a tube station for... carrying a laptop and wearing a jacket. This errorism bollocks is getting really silly.

And, of course, the fact that this guy was a suspect, his fingerprints and his DNA will remain with the coppers forever. Great! Wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly starts getting singled out for "special" treatment when travelling to other countries.

Where's the fridge magnet?

Australia's dumb terrorism fridge magnet

Our local council clearly isn't taking the terror threat seriously. They sent some cardboard leaflets telling us what they're doing and the like. How could they be so stupid?

Everybody knows that the way to tackle terrorism is to send a fridge magnet to every household. Surely Britain could learn a thing or two from Australia's demonstrated best practice here?