Saturday, November 19, 2005

Things to Come

Subject - Crab Nebula Transmission Decryption


Fed that data stream you picked up on the 4.2 cm band into Panjandrum as you asked. It's taken the best part of 72 hours for Panjandrum to crack the protocol but we're pretty confident that we've got it. We're still working through the data but here's what we've got so far:

Greetings from Krzmal

Greetings! We know that this message may impact you with startlement as we not known or met to you but we have belief that you will oblige us with your assistance. We are Krzmal from Zangara Hegemony of Planetary Bodies. Due to recent political upheavals in Zangara Hegemony of Planetary Bodies must take up exile in more favourable part of galaxy. We humbly seek your assistance in relocating our most valuable possession.

We have [untranslatable] in [untranslatable]. We are willing to offer [untranslatable] of this [untranslatable] for your assistance in shifting our [untranslatable] into more secure [untranslatable]. Please we need your assistance to protect what is rightfully ours from seizure by the illegitimate regime that is plundering our once great hegemony. For more information contact us at [untranslatable].


She takes it in the [untranslatable]

See it all at [untranslatable]


You may want to rethink Monday's press conference; I don't think the world is quite ready for this.


Subject - Re: Crab Nebula Transmission Decryption


Were there any graphics with that "She takes it in the [untranslatable]" section of the message? If we hack those, they might make a good visual for the press conference.


(A tug of the forelock to to Nabakov, who lent me the book from which I purloined this idea.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Some Boy ...

Kevin Andrews isn't impressed by today's protests against the government's proposed reintroduction of the Masters and Servants Act (NSW - 18 something or other):

Kevin Andrews said 95 per cent of workers had stayed on the job. "It's always predictable that people are out on the streets," he said.

Mr Andrews dismissed the union movement's campaign against the legislation as 'hysterical.

Further on, Andrews remarks:

It is totally over the top, equating IR changes with terrorism, saying that this is going to lead eventually to riots in the streets of Australia like we have seen in Paris, to be saying women and children will be killed.

That really set the tenor of the entire approach, the entire campaign that the unions have been running.

Andrews also objects to comparisons between the proposed changes and fascism, as made by NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca at the Senate enquiry into the IR Bill. But I have no idea where Andrews is getting this stuff about terrorism and riots in the streets from.

Frankly, I'm disappointed to learn that someone out there has likened the Government's IR reforms to terrorism. That won't do at all; it's obviously incumbent on whoever's been spreading these hysterical rumours to come clean and admit their error. It's the sort of thing that brings discredit on the whole Left. And while we're at it, maybe the nameless person who made off with my copy of The Communist Manifesto in 1976 might care to lob it back to me in the post. I don't really care who you are; as long as I get it back by the end of the week, there'll be no need to take the matter any further.

World Wide Aneurism

There's an article in the Next supplement of today's Age, syndicated from Wired, where Kevin Kelly gets into a bit of gee-whiz technobabble forecasting:

The web continues to evolve from an entity ruled by mass media and mass audiences to one ruled by messy media and messy participation. How far can this frenzy of creativity go? Encouraged by web-enabled sales, 175,000 books were published and more than 30,000 music albums were released in the US last year. At the same time 14 million blogs were launched worldwide.

All these numbers are escalating. A simple extrapolation suggests that in the near future everyone alive will (on average) [sic] write a song, author a book, make a video, craft a weblog, and code a program. [And now for the money quote] This idea is less outrageous than the notion 150 years ago that some day everyone would write a letter or take a photograph...

Apparently, by 2015, the Internet as we know it will be gone, replaced by a world-spanning super intelligent networked Machine. I can hardly wait. I'm really looking forward to the day that I try to start my dial-up connection and the PPP-client returns an error message saying "Failed to conect to internet with error 181: Piss off I'm busy."

(According to UNESCO, there were 862 million illiterate people in the world population in 2000 CE. While it's quite possible that some, if not all, of these people have at least taken a photograph, most likely at the behest of a group of First World tourists, none of them would have written any letters.)