the daily column

Cooking Tip

Sniffing a onion to tell if it’s bad? Not a good idea.


Dr Haneef: “Case descends into farce”

Turns out the SIM card which Haneef “recklessly supplied to terrorists” (allegedly) wasn’t anywhere near either of the incidents that have landed him in so much shit. And the police knew. And they didn’t say anything about this crucial bit of evidence on which the charges against Haneef hang.

Oh. But he’s still going to be in jail, or detention, and most likely deported, and his future tainted by the fact that his visa was cancelled and his passport suspended. Chances are he’ll never visit a foreign country again, at least through legitimate channels.

Hey, Howard et al, wanna know how to make people not like you and plan acts of violence against you? Lock them up on beat-up non-existent charges. An innocent man beat down by a blatant abuse of power does make for delicious justification.

Or, hey, let’s apply the same theory to the wider public. The National Health Service first up, no doubt, should be locked up for supporting these men by allowing them to enter the country. How is that not reckless! Foreign doctors!

Hey, why just the person who gave the SIM card? Why not the whole freaking mobile company? Y’know, if only the government controlled communications it’d be a-ok, right?

These were just enablers! What about the actual ingredients of the attack? Get Jeep, and Mercedes, and the gas company, and the hardware store where they bought the gas, and the petrol pump! All these people assisted in the committing of an attempted terrorist act! And all that is neglecting to mention the critical party: the match makers. Pure evil I say.

Bloody ridiculous farce is what all of this is. Andrews should resign for his blatant abuse of power; Keelty deserves to at least face a reprimand for allowing this to go ahead, and showing his bias and political pliability (but that’s exactly why he’ll stay). Messers Howard and Ruddock themselves have some explaining to do.

Sorry to be bringing this back, but it does make me angry to see something like this occur.

pushing the sky quickie

Design 4

Edition 4 of Pushing the Sky has begun coding (after 4 discarded graphical mockups), with the CSS to be finalised first based on the Sandbox to get me going on the PHP side (though in the end I’m going to rip all that out in favour of slimming down the class overkill).


As you might guess from the top left 27,225 pixels… why I’m a little annoyed at the sudden rush of darker designs =P

the daily column

Snowed Under

I don’t think I’ve ever understood this term quite as well as I do now. I’ve picked up the work from one of the guys in the team who is off on holidays, and along with the new-found responsibility that I’ve been given myself (I have to find solutions!) I’m suddenly finding myself with too many meetings and not enough time at all.

Never was the lesson that you have to have a concise message more clear than it is now…


March of the Heartless

You’d have to think there’s something about the Immigration portfolio which requires the minister in charge to check their conscience at the door. First we had Ruddock with the Tampa, SIEV X, the “Pacific Solution” and all that illegal immigration muck.

Then we had Vanstone and that little bit of nastiness around the lady deported to the Phillipines, not to mention Cornelia Rau, the German-born lady who forgot who she was momentarily and was locked up for it.

Now, we have Andrews and his total lack of shame at blatantly disregarding the presumption of innocence and the upholding of due process.

Am I making it a political issue? Very well, so I am. It damn well should be.

I’m going to be tagging anything I find relating to this and putting it on – see


Dr Haneef: Political Plaything

It just gets better for Mohammed Haneef. He wins bail, walks out of the court… into the arms of the Immigration department. His 457 visa has been revoked and he will now be put into a detention centre for illegal immigrants. Ironically, he was trying to leave the country when he was arrested.

The reason? Section 501 of the visa. With a special proviso.

What’s that, you say? Guilty, by association, until proven Innocent, you might say:

Under section 501 of the [Migration] act, a “character test” applies to people seeking visas to enter the country.

A person fails the character test if, among other things, he or she has an association with another person or group whom the minister suspects is involved in criminal conduct.

Lemme say that again, with emphasis:

he or she has an association with another person or group whom the minister suspects is involved in criminal conduct

They were his cousins! How could he not have an association with them? Mr Andrews said he had considered information provided by the Australian Federal Police. But he doesn’t have to wait for a judgement on these people; no, no, no, as long as the minister suspects, the guy fails the test and is locked up.

What’s that? The minister is an elected official and so should be trusted? Oh, that’s alright then.

Oh but wait! You can challenge a conviction or decision, can’t you?

Haneef has two avenues of appeal … But his chances under both of those avenues are made harder because Mr Andrews has invoked a special “national interest” element of the section 501 visa cancellation process.

Ah, the Get Into Jail Free Of Conscience Clause. Cry foul my friends, because this is injustice in motion.

Ed: Senator Andrew Bartlett (Dem., QLD) gets my vote. (What? So what if I can’t vote for him?)

Ed 2: I just want to quote more – see this and this and this. And more and more. With editorials here and here. News Ltd paper The Daily Telegraph sees nothing wrong, as usual, proving themselves to be the lapdogs of the Liberals. Which is not to say Labor’s any better with their “in-principle” agreement, which disgusts me.

asides pushing the sky

Alright alright

So it seems like tis the season to be redesigning your site. I’ll get on to it, I’ve got a good one in mind (finally). Just someone tell me, what is it with all the darker designs this time around?


Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Oh yeah, bring the Fuzz :) I totally ♥ Simon Pegg and his team of creative bastards.



Dr Haneef: Inadvertently Criminal

Dr Mohamed Haneef, the “Australian connection” in the recent terror scare in the UK, is to be charged with “recklessly supporting terrorism by supplying the SIM card to his second cousin, Sabeel Ahmed”, and therefore he had “supplied the alleged terrorists with a usable alternative identity.” He faces up to 15 years in prison for giving his mobile SIM card to his cousin.


If this case had any real basis, the prosecution would have to demonstrate that he actively knew that his cousins would engage in a terrorist act, and that the SIM card could be a way for authorities to monitor and track his cousins. When clearly, they had no bloody idea that anything was going to happen, and the ‘alternative identity’ apparently provided by the SIM card had no role to play in the terrorist act.

If this man is prosecuted, I have major doubts about how serious the authorities are in pursuing real perpetrators as opposed to chasing down the easy ones to provide visible ‘victories’ against terrorism.

More opinion here and here.


Movie Review: Ocean’s Thirteen

There are times when you want sequels to break from the format of the original – when the series is supposed to be a cohesive single plot effectively and each “sequel” is actually more like a volume of a epic, a self-contained story in each that is different, but the key plot points tying it together keep it a single story overall. This is the Bourne movies, the Pirates, what the Matrix series aspired to be. (Star Wars or LotR don’t count because they’re effectively one movie cut up for convenience)

And at times, you want sequels to be munch-on-popcorn formulaic because you know what you’re in for and you know why and you’re just there to enjoy the ride, be it the Lethal Weapon or Die Hard style, or indeed the Police Academy series. These are the sequels that don’t need to sell themselves as requiring a knowledge of the original, but that knowledge helps to get you in the door.

(Warning: there may be spoilers ahead. click through at your own risk)