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Internet Blackout is ON!.

The Australian Government has an intention to implement a mandatory content filter which has been very, very poorly thought out.

For info check out http://www.nocleanfeed.com/ but even Kiwis need to pay attention; this is a dangerous precedent!

Into the Monday Afternoon of LCA2010 and had the task of relocating a substantial quantity of Beer and Wine to another venue during lunchbreak... so i'm hungry! Will be rectified soon however.

Have spent today with one ear on the presentations and the other assisting with Sound in the Main Auditorium and chasing down some Wireless networking oddballs. Attendees may have noticed Wifi is playing up, this is a work-in-progress and we're beating the equipment into submission.

Tonights Tweetup - http://twtvite.com/n7asaf has details - has in excess of 50 RSVP's. The Twtvite entry has a ceiling at 60 but i'm sure if you bowl on up at your convenience, there'll be no dramas. There's a simultaneous Martial Arts demo going on so we'll lose some folks at 7, for a couple of hours.

Today as first day of LCA has been interesting for me; those who've done the LCA bit before are obviously quite comfortable with the routine but many NZ'rs who've not attended before, are finding things quite interesting. A few minor dramas due to the fog this morning and folks delayed inbound; a bit of illness for good measure, and reportedly traffic problems caused at least one speaker to miss their slot. However this is the 'miniconf' window, the LCA proper kicks off Wednesday, and no doubt we'll be settled by then.

Has also been interesting to recognise several faces I know from other places who've travelled to LCA from Christchurch, Auckland etc. Looking forward to catching up with them during this week as well.

See folks tonight at the Tweetup!

So today - first day of LCA2010 - we were greeted by a lovely foggy day.

Uhoh, on behal of all those trying to fly in to a (closed) Wellington Airport!

This started last night affecting one of the Aussie-sourced inbounds shortly before midnight, who got to divert to Auckland (lucky them!)

Biggie Ups to Suzanne and Andrew Ruthven - the powers-that-be behind the Capital Cabal (i.e. the folks who set up LCA2010) who're at home sick today (oh the irony)! However, everyone here can see the fruit of their efforts (several comments on how well organised (relatively speaking) things are this year compared to previous LCA's).

The Miniconf's have begun, and the organisers are working behind the scenes to tidy up the last few kinks in the AV and other such spaces which often only reveal themselves 'live'.

A good morning had so far, with more to come.

Headsup to Professional Delegates; Check your 'Cube' for evidence of leaking batteries, it seems a few suffered from this. There are a few replacements to be had if you check at the Registration Desk, I understand, but quantities unknown!

My Canon A580 has served pretty well since I got it though i've had to get it replaced under insurance prior to now, due to a cracked display. My current edition I've had since September 2008 - so yesterdays rather catastrophic lense failure (zomg 'Lense Error; Restart Camera' and very little movement of said lens) was horrendously disappointing.



Front and Back images found at letsgodigital.org.

I mentioned it to Liz who did a bit of poking around whilst I was catching up on some sleep this afternoon... turns out that after we confirmed it was out of warranty, a websearch showed lots of examples of similar errors (I give Canon some credit for keeping the error wording consistent, at least.)

In particular the following URL's were very useful:

Digitalcamera-hq.com

avh.dds.nl.

The latter is particularly interesting as it describes the nature of a common issue with the Powershot's (Dust getting into the gearage for the lens movement) and in some degree of detail, how to take the unit apart sufficiently to clean it out.

I expect that my woes were generated from doing some heavy lifting, etc, with the camera in my pocket yesterday. Thanks LCA2010 :D. My fault, though.

Anycase once established the Warranty was long gone, a good solid whack on a knee brought the thing back to life. And i'm quite happy about that! :-)

So... bring on LCA. And be warned, yet another camera may be pointing your way...

PS: Reiterating my grateful thanks to Liz :-)
PPS: Blogged this so that I can find it again later! And because judging by Googles results, it may well be helpful to place this somewhere it can be indexed and found by those experiencing similar problems... !
PPPS: Thanks to letsgodigital.org for decent quality images of the camera and a good, basic description of it which is worth a looksie if you're so inclined! Found with Google Image Search of course.
PPPPS: Wow, an entire site dedicated to the error! Here's the repair guide and the saga moves from there; class-action law suits?

Warning: Once you incorporate a company and provide your details to the Companies Registry, you're doomed to receive unsolicited junk mail on a periodic basis.

I won't go into the electronic kind; the Companies office don't require you to provide electronic contact means (though when the forms are submitted, contact numbers are provided...) What i'm talking about here is plain old unsolicited postal junk.

Today we received a windowed envelope with our street address (per the companies office) in the window. Above that was no name; instead it was addressed to 'Dear Lover of Fine Wines'.

Enclosed was a self-addressed envelope (with 'Affix Stamp Here'; obviously they're not interested in supplying postage!), a glossy brochure advertising the firm 'Pieroth Wines (NZ) Limited' with an address at North Harbour Industrial Estate (Auckland); and a 'Consumer Survey' which then asks 'Are your name and address printed correctly?' Please check, so you are sure to receive your Thank-you-gift and the free 6 bottle International Wine Sampling without any delay.' To the right are three boxes with contact detail options and a title 'Details of Interested Friends!'

On the reverse is the survey, which starts with 'Your support is very important. With the help of your answers we may better adapt to the friends of Premium Wines and improve our services in future'. Goes on to ask questions for demographics and a bunch of wine preferences. It then asks for contact phone numbers (home and work) in order to arrange for the free gift and 6 bottle wine tasting.'

What's the bet that the free gift isn't 6 bottles of wine!

This is the 'please forward this to all your friends!' of the 20th century.

It's funny, when you keep a relatively close eye on the places your details are filed, and on your buying habits, you can get a good idea for all the dirty, dirty tactics out there.

A couple of days ago Matthew Holloway posted an interesting story to the NZOSS OpenChat List.

That Article, entitled Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX, was actually quite illuminating.

Enough so that I do feel you should read it. Most especially if you've been in any way involved in Gaming (PC or Console) in the last 5 to 10 years.

I knew that DirectX was a Microsoft thing but I hadn't really thought about the competition aspect. If the above article is accurate, then there's been some very clever marketing and indeed, FUDding, by Microsoft... and to a substantial degree, it's worked. Except we can't - and shouldn't - let it.

It does reinforce in my own mind, though, my desire never to own an Xbox....

Noted a couple of simultaneous subscriptions to NZLUG mailing lists this morning from different addresses @zeusmail.org - this immediately looked suspicious, and a Google confirms my fears.

A warning for those others dealing with mailing lists, forums and such; that's one domain with a baaaad rep.

A lengthy article on Bisphenol-A - or BPA - in the New Zealand Herald.

Glad to see this issue make the news - as for anyone who uses bottles to feed babies, it's been known about for a long time.

I encourage folks to read the article and understand exactly what's going on - and what the risks are. I, for one, am glad that our new son Ben is going to be exclusively BPA (but only because the brand of Bottle we have the most success with, Nuk, offer Glass, or very recently, BPA-free plastic). Laura was less fortunate as our choices were slimmer (and we were less educated).

Given the choice I think i'll happily elect for BPA-free anything. The problem is, of course, the lack of choice - and the fact that information is just not 'out there'.

I have serious issue with this extract from the above article:

As for getting advice about the issues involved, it isn't straightforward. Plunket, for example, carries no information about BPA-free bottles on its website. When mothers ask, it refers them to NZFSA.

Surely, Plunket, New Zealands most well known and well regarded early childcare support facility, should be the ones most firmly in the know with regards to this important issue?

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I'm sure most of those with an interest in the subject are by now aware of the Linux Australia conference being held in Wellington, NZ in a couple of weeks time. Yep, LCA2010 is that close.

As one of the volunteers as well as a 'professional delegate' i've been working up my calendar to ensure I get the best out of the week. Today, just to make life interesting, there was a timetable shuffle to better accomodate some interesting speakers in the 'Open in the Public Sector' stream, which is one i'm quite interested in. So tonight i've just reshuffled what I hope to attend.

Dissapointingly this means that the Public Sector stream conflicts with the Sysadmin Miniconf. I'll be looking for notes, video and such to be available from that one - with any luck.

In other news I can confirm for folks interested that there will be wifi internet available at the venue (gotta get your geek fix somehow). Details will be up on the LCA website very soon (assuming they're not there already - i'm told they are, but I havnt found them yet).

Finally, this is my first blog tagged with the LCA2010 category, so this may well come up in the 'Planet LCA2010' feed. Here's hoping. :-) It should also - I hope - appear on Twitter....

Looking forward to my first LCA. :) Mine starts on Sunday with helping some of the organising crew move stuff around. Gonna be a busy week! :)

Just seeing if this thang works.

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