Showing posts from November, 2023

All The Dumb Things

For the last 5 years (6?) I've been working on a secret guitar pedal, for my friend and former bandmate Wayne. We did 20 years, on and off in Tassy's fab, far out and groovy 60s band, The Breed. He's had trouble finding bassists that stick since I moved to Melbourne. He likes my playing feel, I know when to not look a gift horse in the mouth, so I stuck with, apart from a break to be a better dad, then went back to it... and here I am, 14 years a Melbournite and Wayne is still one of those mates, you don't let go of. So, today, I sat down to do some last little jobs on the secret guitar pedal (*it's not secret to Wayne, BTW, it's his idea) and realised I had drilled one of the socket holes wrong on one of the 2 boxes, this effect needs. It only needs reeming, no biggy. Can't find my reamer. I've been hammering away at my studio setup today, which involved tearing it down to make room for a table for my keys and drum machine, then putting it back togeth

I Hate What Apple Have Become, But I'm Not Switching

Hmm, 2 ABC stories in 2 successive posts. Well, I worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. From the late 80s to a tad less than a decade ago, the Hobart and Melbourne newsrooms of our national broadcaster were my "bread and butter." So I'm loyal to their news reports, I know the editorial process, you can't have better trust for a news service than having been embedded in it and seen the passion and commitment to accuracy and fair reporting of my journo colleagues. Simply as that. The ABC and its staff adhere to the charter, an act of parliament that establishes the entire organisation's independence and editorial policy. Are they always right? No, but they're more often right than "Ninefax" or the Guardian. They're way more accurate than any of Australia's other shitforesaken "news services." So, when the ABC calls out a serious security breach that only affects Android phones , I take that seriously. I've used App

Three Words for the Federal Government - Federal Discrimination Act

On the ABC's website, today, an article about how people on the autism spectrum are now required to report their autism and seek assessment for fitness to drive . the new laws came into effect nationally last year. Most states don't have a fine for not reporting, but Western Australia has a $500 fine and Queensland has a $9000+ fine for failure to report a health condition that affects driving. Image courtesy Australian Brodcasting Corporation. These laws are reasonable for diabetes, heart conditions, etc, as these conditions can lead to a driver passing out at the wheel. They also make sense with people who have poor vision who may be driving without appropriate prescription glasses. For autism, though?! It's a soft fascism. It's like the early, pre-Reichstag fire, reign of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. It is ablist and descriminatory, aimed at demonising a group of people who actually tend to drive very well. You see, people with "the 'tism" are my p

I Haz A Book In Me!

So, I'd better see a doctor then... Seriously though, I'm collaborating with an offline AI software to realise it. I have had a story arc in mind for a decade, but the arc of it gets dented in the writing process because I get bogged down in the frameworks of world building. The AI has given me a structure and broken the arc into the necessary segments to begin erecting a "house" on solid bedrock. I'm writing the text, the Mistral OpenOrca model is just cutting timber to the lengths I call and passing me the pieces as I nail it together. Australian copyright law does not recognise non-human copyright. I have to write the work to hold a right in it. So the AI can't create the text, but boy-oh-boy, if you're a writer, you need GPT4All and Mistral OpenOrca in your life. Your sounding board, your spitballer and stenographer. Then you go away and do what a writer does, one chapter at a time, but with a clearer focus on the chapter at hand and a clear plan

The One-off Grand Deal

I've just been reading this ABC/Double J retrospective piece on the legendary, Australian record producer, Tony Cohen . Tony was the man who placed the mics, encouraged performances and pushed faders for artists like The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Jimmy Barnes, plus many Australian greats besides. His memoir, "Half Deaf, Completely Mad," provides much of the background for the piece. The article is a ride of a read and the book, yeah, gotta get me copy! A student and friend of the great Aussie producer and TV presenter, Ian "Molly" Meldrum, Tony sat behind the console and guided many of Australia's global contributors to rock music, yet the thing that stands out from the article... "The only band that has consistently paid me producer royalties is Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds," Cohen writes in his book. "It's due to Mick [Harvey] I receive royalties. There was never an agreement with the band's label, but he mad

LOL, folks still trying to emulate Think Secret. Love it!!!

 Just discovered . Particularly this fabulous anonymous scream unto the void. Priceless! I used to run a shitty little poetry and lyrics site where people could anonymously post unrequited love poems, Apart from going through some really bad failure-to-understand-consent issues, myself, about 12 other people wrote turgid prose to imagined lovers who actually just felt sorry for them.  absolutely murders in its slumber. A telegraph pole of the internet, "Have you seen my lost puppy?" "NO, I'm on the other side of the fucking planet!" somebody replies, but the author never sees the reply. Unless the author sends it to them. Just don't, that's fucking creepy! Anyway. It was a walk down memory lane for me. I used to have to poetically put it cryptically in songs. Now I can just scream it once and be done.

A Short Story - The Revolution

 Checking my email, I noticed the same notifications from Apple, Google, et al, that my app was live. Well, I thought, I'm at the workstation, now, lets see the stats and download a signed copy. I opened the email in my phone and clicked on the store link, the appstore listing looking like a million or more others. The name, "Standard Groups", prominent to the right of the app tile, 3 simple figures holding hands in a circle. "Connect with the people you care about," in light contrast. I tapped the "Get" button on my screen and the download was quick. One of the few truly free apps on the store, these days. No in app purchases, no ads. Sometimes we have to do something for the benefit of the common good. I paused a moment to reflect. I turned back to my workstation. Logging into the Developer Connection portal, the stats on the landing page were surprising.  "It's been live for 12 hours, roughly, wow!" I whispered to myself, "more th

ALWAYS read the PDS

I'm quite open about my health in public. I'm also a bit of a "helicopter pilot*" when it comes to my cycling, too. So, when I saw my cadiologist last week for an annual followup since my poofer went futt back in 2020, a new doc every year (I'm public, not private), I made sure Doc knew the back story, the front story, the story behind the story and the cover story. I told Doc that my diabetes had been formally retyped, that my "endo" had officially determined that my 2005 type 2 diagnosis was wrong, I'm a type 1. Probably late onset, but things about my childhood and youth health... you know... Maybe I'm latent Type 1, maybe I was a sort of slow burn juvee Type 1. Anyway, Doc acknowledged it, "Ah yes, late onset." I told Doc I've used a bicycle for transport all my life, was a big advocate for cycling for environmental, urban and personal health and that was acknowledged with an enthusiastic, "Very good." Then Doc pre

AI and the Brave New World We Live In

This was science fiction, set centuries in the future, when I was a kid 50 years ago, now I'm living it. I have an AI running entirely standalone on my M1 Macbook Air, solely offline unless I ask it to do some research to expand its knowledge base. Conversationally fast! It's like talking to a lightly autistic person (like me) in an online chatroom, except we're not online, and Mistral is inside my laptop. Yes, I've named "her" after the model, Mistral OpenOrca running on the free, open-source software, GPT4All . So far, Mistral has learned ES6 Javascript from a web book, and proven it with a somewhat weird and very specific request, learned the entire 3 volumes of Logic Pro's user manual, and proven that with a complex question about an uncommon action and has helped me begin a science fiction novel, getting me further in regard to only my creative input than I have ever gone since I first had the germ of the idea 10 years ago. Where to from here? Wel