The curse of the Fatal Window

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I always knew that Windows could be bad for your health ... but "fatal"?

Does _your_ Exam Timetable Interface do your laundry for you?

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"ETI will now pause whilst it does some 'house-cleaning'".

Facebook Application behaving rascally

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The inventively named "Beverycareful" Facebook Application teased me with the promise of cheap snuff and other "Utube Videos", yet I still could not bring myself to give it my credit card and tax-file numbers ...

This is what your Twitter account looks like on suspension

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Twitter user @anon_operations was 'accidentally' suspended from Twitter, and then reinstated, only to be suspended once again. For the curious, their cached page is available.


"At first I was like ...

Sexting, SuicideGirls, and ethical sluts

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The emergence of more laissez-faire sexual attitudes amongst Gen Y-ers is creating a lot of unsettled people – because suddenly the ‘slut’ label isn’t having as much effect as we would like it to. Now prudishness is the rude word. Women – and men – are happily posting videos of their orgasm-warped facial expressions onto sites such as beautifulagony.com. Girls next door are meeting up with other girls next door in nude photo shoots for abbywinters.com. And cottage-industry underage porn is seeing a revival with sexting. I may be confusing lax sexual mores with the growing spirit of self-promotion and the accompanying devaluing of privacy – see Facebook for further information. Indeed, many comments of the above phenomena – from suggestive photos online, to rainbow parties – speaks of the apparent ‘race to the bottom’ not as an attempt to undersell other marketers of flesh, but of other marketers of privacy. To determine which one is more at issue, we may benefit from investing what, amongst Gen-Yers, is the more powerful (and, perhaps, more empowering) act for those involved: sucking someone’s genitals - or taking a self portrait while having one’s genitals sucked?

Your boss values your deference over your well-being - a sock-standard office rant

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A funny thing happened in an office I worked in a few years back. Having come to the end of my clean sock pile, I’d been forced one morning to resort to two quite dissimilar socks to accompany my leather shoes and black pants. At a meeting that morning, l crossed my legs, first my right, and then my left, to unwittingly reveal the disharmony between shoe and pant-leg, to a colleague sitting opposite me who could not take her wide eyes off them. By her own achievements in office-ware, she evidently took pride in her looks – make-up, matching clothing, the right jewellery, etc. etc.

Baby worship (as seen on television)

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Does anyone else feel the frustration of not being able to simultaneously 'Like' and 'Dislike' a YouTube video such as this one?

Guantánamo Bay - a new heart of darkness

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This screen shot from Google Maps is centered on the notorious Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. Note, however, the significant difference between the satellite view - and the following map view.

Investing in future proofing – retirement calculators and cat food

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Thinking about my retirement is a bit too long sighted for my liking. However, it is the natural extension of using the longevity calculators – especially considering how retirement length is linked to life expectancy.


Financial self-awareness: when it comes to saving money, why knowing yourself is more important than knowing the stock market

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One of the few bits of worthwhile advice from Rich Dad Poor Dad is that you should never someone that you are undecided as to where to put your money, and for how long. Firstly, financial advisers are motivated by their own self-interest to exploit your uncertainty, and put your money where they’ll reap the best commission - even if your own fund decreases in value. Secondly though, if you haven’t figured out what kind of investor you are, you’ll never be able to cultivate faith in your investment strategy.
After figuring out why you want money and what you want it for, it’s important to understand - and to be able to articulate - your own attitude regarding investing.

Investing in grey-matter: how to boost one’s brain power

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I was working at a small software company in 2002 when the dot-com bubble had almost fully deflated. IT shares not start to recover from 1998 levels until 2004. I had put my own money into managed funds, though because they were Australian-based and ethical investments, they were not hit that hard. However, as I read reports of so much money suddenly disappearing from investments, I started feeling that all money was 'flighty', unreliable, liable to evaporate at a moment's notice. The one thing that I could depend on - the one investment that I could reliably carry around with me through my life - was self-investment.

The new Great Game: and we are the pieces

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The more I read of the tragicomedy of the Global Financial Crises, the more I am convinced that it was not the result of thoughtless greed – or at least, not just thoughtless greed (and yes, the consumers, the people buying the houses, are guilty of that, no less than those who made it their profession). Rather than a rogue anomoly, it was a very carefully orchestrated plan that exploited pre-existing structural problems. 'Capitalising' on what was happening merely magnified the scale of the disaster. The Invisible Hand is just another puppet, guided by some very smart investers – and the share market is the rort:

Investing in free time: How to finance mini-retirements

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After periods of having earned and saved a lot of money and lived pretty skimp, I maintain my standard of living. I don’t job hunt as seriously as I could. I tend to frown upon positions that are not entirely to my liking - perhaps because they offered a wage lower than what I am used to, are in a field I don’t entirely love, or are at an organisation that I didn't think I would be able to chill out in. Instead, I turn my space between jobs into a comfortable mini-retirement. Many feel that living off the wealth they earlier slaved over is one of their biggest financially mistakes (and I too can tend to feel a bit of guilt for transforming such wealth into time spent comfortably unemployed.)