I keep adding things to the list, so here’s the list

People who think the phrase ‘as a mother…’ lends moral authority to anything that comes after Media outlets that invite non-scientists to ‘have your say’ on topics of scientific debate People who say ‘…[person] that…’ or ‘…[non-person] who…’ (I’m looking at you, Tyra Banks) Inbox Zero zealots who are so pleased with their efforts to…

Not so sceptical my brains will fall out

Tim Dean has written a wonderfully reasonable and thoughtful piece on why conservatives are more likely to be climate change sceptics. I am somewhat more suspicious of their motives. As you can imagine, this article provoked a flood of outraged, incendiary, irrational commentary from conservative climate change deniers. Indeed, many climate deniers say their inability…

I do not think it means what you think it means

As computers and internet technology have become mainstream, technology terms have entered the language. But the translation is not always accurate. As a professional pedant, it makes me turn purple the number of times I hear people misusing the following two terms: 1. Hard drive What a lot of people think it means: The box…

Twitter won’t stop the filter or win the election

The impotent rage many Twits feel about the political-media establishment’s nonchalant treatment of internet censorship is palpable. But the harsh reality is, even if everyone on Twitter thought and voted the same way, it would make no difference to this policy or the election result.

Are they trying to tell me something?

The trick with spam – and some malicious software – is convincing people to open an email, click on a link or something else they wouldn’t normally do. Social engineering, when done well, means getting inside people’s heads and understanding their desires, fears and vulnerabilities. It’s not always done well. For instance, lately I have…

93% of Australians prefer a steaming pile of poo to Eddie McGuire

This week I posted a survey on twtpoll, asking people the following question: Which would you rather have in your home: Eddie McGuire or a steaming pile of poo? The results were emphatic: Eddie McGuire: 2 votes (3%) Steaming pile of poo: 61 votes (97%) While this was a terribly entertaining result, I did it…

‘Via’ and ‘with’ make the Grammar Nazi’s shit list

In my current source of employment, I often have to apply my immense knowledge of grammar and style (not!) to reviewing other people’s work. Amazingly, most of the time they don’t hate me for doing this. This gives me an opportunity (and audience) to rant about trends in modern English communication that piss me off….

LinkedIn’s great comeback

In the past five years there’s been a steady stream of social networking platforms du jour which then fell out of favour with geeky early adopters as as the great unwashed discovered them – from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. All the while, LinkedIn sat around gradually building momentum without any of the fanfare or…

Retail fail: why men hate clothes shopping

Marketers often say that men find shopping for clothes frustrating and alienating. It’s almost as though the entire process was designed for women, if you believe the stereotypes. Some very clever online businesses have sprung up based on this premise, making it easier for men to find clothes they want without having to go through…

Tabloid day: boob ads and deadly servers

Pity the poor people of Albury-based transport company Border Express. On Friday they posted an innocent job ad looking for a developer with SQL Server and Visual Basic experience. But over the weekend, some wiseguy who had access to the company’s account details on Seek made a couple of sneaky changes. To the required skills,…

Is the anti-censorship campaign doomed?

Just about everyone I know thinks the government’s plan to legislate mandatory internet filtering is a really bad idea. This could lead me to believe the majority of Australians are as passionate about internet censorship as me and my friends. But then I remember that most of my friends are university educated, left-leaning types who…

BigPond messes with DNS: fair or unethical?

Another yarn I wrote for CRN, this time on Telstra’s consumer ISP BigPond redirecting mistyped domain name queries to a branded error page. In other words, you type google.coj in your browser and rather than receiving your browser’s standard error page, you get redirected to a BigPond page that gives you helpful suggestions – maybe…