epic fail

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Optus, Optus, Optus. You really like screwing over your customers right? I really didn’t appreciate having to work out why my home network printer stopped working right in the middle of exams — because you screwed with DNS to earn a few easy quid. (Same goes for you, Telstra.)

19 Nov 2009 | No comments



ROM Fail

“ROM Fail” on a solar energy display: prophetic of the status of the federal government’s renewable energy bill (coupled with the emissions trading scheme)?


Update: Thank you to all who have contributed to the discussion below. For the impatient, here is a summary of what you might like to do:

  • If you hate Sydney Mail, fear not: you have options.
  • To redirect your Sydney Mail email to another email account, you can either a) use a “redirect” rule in Sydney Mail or b) get your email client (such as Gmail) to pick it up via POP3 (for this, see the main post below). Both a) and b) do the job.
  • To send email from within Gmail as if you were sending it from Sydney Mail, add your Sydney Mail address under the Addresses tab in Settings in Gmail.
  • However, some recipients, such as those using Outlook, may see that the sender of your email is “xyz@gmail.com on behalf of abcd1234@uni.sydney.edu.au”. If you don’t like this, you can fix this by getting Gmail to send email via SMTP. To find out the address of the SMTP server, see these instructions.

“Sydney Mail is a new and significantly improved student email service,” announced the email from the university proudly.

The truth is that the university has delivered something that’s better, but is rather deficient in its own right: they’ve outsourced email to Microsoft so it’s all now run off Outlook Web Access. I could go on and on about why I would never use it, but I’ll just show you how to avoid using it.

The existing email system allows you to forward to a personal email address, and the university provides instructions for how to do it on the new system. Don’t follow those instructions! It is true that email will be forwarded from Outlook to your personal email but what happens is that the emails are literally forwarded! If Bob sends you an email, when it pops up in your personal email, the From field will show your university email as opposed to Bob, which is incredibly inconvenient.

The solution? Get your mail client to retrieve mail from Outlook via POP3. If you’re using Gmail like me, go to Settings > Accounts. Look for the “Get mail from other accounts” section and click the “Add a mail account you own” link. A window will then pop up; try the following settings:


Email sent to your university email won’t get forwarded instantly like it used to, but it’s a much better solution than the one offered by the university.

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“What are the factors of 336?” I pondered, staring at the KENKEN puzzle on the screen of the computer in the SciTech library I was seated at.

Cursed computer! No calculator!

I’ve been annoyed by how locked down the computers at Sydney Uni’s libraries are for a while, so I set out to find out whether I can, in fact, bring up the humble calculator.1

Read the rest of this entry »

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Because this happens:

Ru Jih ate it anyway (or so I’m told) 🙂

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I am currently standing at Revesby station fuming over why CityRail can’t do anything to accommodate customers they screw over. My train just got cancelled and I will be late to a presentation that I need to attend at work. My completely reasonable request that the next express train that zooms past make an unscheduled stop was denied because the next train arrives in just 9 minutes. Perfectly sound reasoning if it weren’t for the fact this means we arrive in the city 25 minutes later and office workers can’t get in before 9am.

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A while back, CityRail started having these Empty Trains. I can’t for the life of me work out why anyone would choose such a stupid name. Does it mean that there’s no one inside? Does it mean it doesn’t go anywhere afterwards, as in, it’s terminating? (If so, what’s wrong with the word terminating?) I suppose it’s better than a (null) train.

The real WTF in the picture, though, is how a platform 23 service ended up on the Illawarra Line screen.

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The ABC – providing you with quality news everyday.

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“Should I care? Should I care?”

If the question is about the Sydney Law Revue 2008, the answer is no. (The quote is from the “Holding out for a US Hero” skit, the closing skit.)

Last year, I wrote about the half-executed jokes that had the potential to be so much funnier. I wish I could make a similar comment this year. This time round, the directors somehow found it convenient to expend entirely with the punchlines in jokes. Instead, it was replaced with flat, meaningless drivel so that when it got to the closing, I was pretty much clapping out of politeness instead of sincere appreciation.

The occasional joke made in bad taste is to be expected in a revue; in fact, you could say it defines a revue. Normally, I’d have a good laugh at them. But given that the rest of the revue was so flat, when the (bad) jokes came around, the audience just didn’t buy them. We even had a heckler in the audience – and I pretty much agreed with everything he had to shout out. At one stage, one of the backstage members stuffed up with the mop between skits; that was almost one of the funniest moments (!).

China, with its astronomical growth and the Beijing Olympics just past, was an obvious topical subject. They didn’t fail to deliver on that count, but the jokes were so poorly delivered that they might have been mistaken for blatant racism.

To regain the confidence of its audience, the Law Revue in future years needs to create a coherent presentation that carries some kind of energy throughout the performance. A little bit of introspection might help; I’m sure if the directors actually sat down and listened to some of their own jokes, they might agree that they weren’t quite so funny after all. There was no doubt some great talent on stage; whether this talent was used most effectively is another question.

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