December 28, 2004

Sporadic E

What an odd christmas present I received from our atmosphere! I was wondering into work and about 1km from arriving, I hit the scan button on my car radio upward from National Radio (101.4FM Auckland). Weirdly, it landed on 101.75.

I was hearing 2WS from Sydney apparently.

Ian, A DX'er from Australia informs me that this is common around new years. Down in Otago recently, an [nzradio] lurker also piped up with news of "it lasting about an hour and it wiped out all the local FM stations and I could receive Nova96.9 and triple J and also The Edge from sydney with full RDS read out as well".

Another lurker: "Indeed, I had that happen once while living down on the Coast. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, my stereo started picking up Northland stations. In the space of about five minutes, I was able to tune into KCC FM, Radio Pacific, and one other Northland FM station. Then they faded away and I never picked them up ever again. It was weird, but very cool."

Crazy stuff... So, how did this happen?

Technical gobbledegook:
{Sporadic-E is a type of ionospheric E-layer reflection caused by small patches of unusually dense ionization in our upper atmosphere. These sporadic E-layer "clouds" appear unpredictably. Sporadic-E events may last for just a few minutes to several hours; a given event usually affects only small areas of the country at any one time. Sporadic-E is observed on 144 MHz less than a tenth as often as on 50MHz. Signals are often remarkably strong, allowing 50 and 144MHz stations running 10 watts, and often much less than that, to make contacts 1500 km and longer with relative ease.} source.

In english:
It means distant radio signals are able to be amplified to other parts of the world for a short period of time when our atmosphere creates these bizarre conditions known as "sporadic E lift".

This type of radio stuff is very much of a different world to the talk Im used to. If this has sparked your ions, then check out the NZ DXers page.

I managed to listen to 2WS for about 2 minutes - and my entire listening experience was bathed in ads.

December 24, 2004

Rejected Radio Formats

Talking Clock FM
"We provide up to the minute information on the time. Call us and request the local time in any part of the world, and go in the monthly draw to win a watch - defeating the purpose of listening"

Silent FM

"Here at Silent FM, we play for you recordings of the quietest places on the planet, 24/7. From the middle of the Sahara, to a rockface in Canada, every recording is of the highest quality and we guarantee you'll enjoy silent fm especially in rush hour"

Alzheimers AM
"Alzheimers AM brings you a fresh listening experience, although some laundry powders are better on my clothes. Checking traffic now.. Mainly fine today with an expected top temperature, I had my temperature taken yesterday"

Sub FM
"At Sub FM, we only play music under 80Hz. Turn up ya Sub and enjoy all your favourites on Sub FM"

Reception FM
"Reception FM is the worlds best radio station, guaranteed to make your day by playing only YOUR favourite music - remember, we change frequency every 500ms. Check out our website to find out what frequency we will be on for half a second in your area"

Backwards FM
"Every album cut, ever made - all played backwards. Our announcers speak backwards, the ads are backwards and the music is backwards, 7/24"

Loud Quiet FM
"Our DJ's don't just double-fade when they talk, they do it all the time! Catch all your favourite music LOUD then quiet then LOUD then quiet, then LOUD then quiet then LOUD then quiet then LOUD then..."

Joke Radio

"All jokes are funny - at some level, and here at Joke Radio, we tell the joke but ignore the punchline, then laugh for 10 seconds. Why did the chicken cross the road? HAHAHAHHA!!"

Alphabet FM
"Forgotten your ABC's?. Alphabet FM can help. We bring you the worlds best celebrities reciting the alphabet all day, everyday. Current promotion: If you hear our celebrity miss out a letter anytime between 6am and 6pm weekdays, call us and win $26 cash instantly!"

suggestions accepted...

December 17, 2004

The revolution

Over the last month:
42% of readers to my humble blog use Firefox.
71% of these users are in NZ.

Love it.

December 15, 2004

Ooops Up

This is a cut n patse from an email I got yesterday. I dont usually like using the Cut n Paster but...

We had a female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked: "So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?"

Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard.

Christmas grates again

I consider myself to be a happy person, optimistic and generally above board. Now, when I heard that TV3 weather guy say 'the silly season' last night, I think thats just fitting.

This time of year really is silly. Frankspace encapsulates the common robotic movement that happens every year, and it pains me to witness the continual move away from the point of having christmas and the holidays - friends, family and fun!

More and more, every year, advertising agencies come up with new, but not better ways of targeting us and trying to extract hard earned (not saved) cash from our pockets. Yes, its an industry and thats what it needs to do to survive, but scraping against the fabric of our society in the process really grates. Some bigger businesses are beginning to complain about the non-trading rule that applies at Christmas and Easter coz its a day they can't trade! Do I need to take Jesus' name in vain here? Will that help?

I interviewed Stuart Sontier from the NZ Buy Nothing Day group mid-November and ended up airing the interview 8 times over the week leading up to the day (which was Nov 26th). Note that the interview was 22 minutes in length and it was aired on a music radio station (and not an indy). These noble people are trying to remind us what we all know and remember, but in the madness that most cannot escape at this time of year, we tend to push it far far down and forget it.

The idea of Buy Nothing Day is to escape the ongoing consumerism that we are bombarded with and for ONE day, buy nothing. If everyone did this, yes there would be a blip in our economy, but there would also be a blip in the reduction of waste, a blip in offshore bank balances, and a giant message that the world would hear - that is - if the media outlets would report it. They do not, as they have politically charged parent companies to answer to, yet people like Stuart (and now myself) soldier on, seemingly in vain.

If you manage/d to buy nothing, then I'm betting you pretty much have a stress free Christmas and will ACTUALLY enjoy this time of year. Merry Christmas.

December 13, 2004

Canwest makes changes.

Its a bittersweet week for the people at Canwest Mediaworks this week.

Great news for TV3
John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld move off reading autocue to get their own show in response to the dramatic changes made by TV1 for a position in the coveted free to air 7pm slot. Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts will take over presenting 3 News. Prime are putting together their 'play' with Paul Holmes with time to spare which is an unusual short ceasefire advantage for these three players. We will certainly see what TV1, TV3 and Prime are made of and I look forward to finally purchasing a DVD recorder and maximising its application next year.

Changes for More FM nights.
Andrew Leiataua has held the iconic nightshow for 10 years in Auckland (most successfully as "The Vault" IMHO) and has moved over to a new challenge within More FM, which is a blessing for his kids - as Dad will now be home in time for bed!

The other news, is that Dominic Bowden (NZ Idol) is hosting the all new nightshow with his producer and panel-op A.J (ex-nights in Manawatu), which will be networked from Auckland to all of the other More FM stations soon. This is a major move by More FM who until now have rejected the idea of networking. It is also timely, as....

THE GOD AWFUL SHOCKING SAD and DISAPPOINTING news that every localworks station will lose its heritage name and rebrand as More FM starting this week.

It is hard to think about this as a positive thing, although its clear why Canwest did it. Thinking backwards, all of these names are part of each area's heritage and will now forever be lost because Canwest decided its just easier to use one name. Even TRN had empthay toward heritage names when they networked Classic Hits up and down our yonder.

Example: 4XO was one of planet earth's first commercial FM radio stations. This is widely known and had an incredible history in Dunedin. It was recently struck off as a brand and More FM moved onto the 97.4 frequency.

Here's a complete list of station names that will soon suddenly vanish leaving nothing but memories:

KCC FM - Northland

Coastline 93.4 FM - Tauranga

Lakes 96 FM - Rotorua

KIS FM - Taupo

Energy FM - Taranaki

Hot 93 - Hawkes Bay

92.8 Star FM - Wanganui

92.2 XS - Manawatu

HITZ 89.3 - Wairarapa

95 FM - Levin

Fifeshire 93FM - Nelson

Radio Central - Alexandra

89.2 Foveaux FM - Invercargill

2XX - Kapiti

Resort 99FM - Queenstown

Big River Radio - Balclutha (no logo found sorry)

I may get into a sticky situation by posting every one of these logos up here, but they will stay until I get asked by Canwest to take them off (which may prove to drive in the nail)

December 10, 2004

Jo Schmo, yo.

While a lot of late night TV toe viewers settle in for the "Joe Schmo Show", there are bigger fish on the boil. More on that in a mo'.. 'yo.

"Living The Dream" was NZ's take of the Spike TV show "The Joe Schmo Show" and after seeing ep1 of the first series last Wednesday, it is certainly better than our effort. You can see the formula of this franchise at work - with the obligatory gay guy, rich bitch and smarmy host. Some of the stunts are exactly the same and the format works well.

Season 2 has not one, but two puppets in the same situation - a guy and girl. Its already wrapped up in the states and the producers have moved on with the whole concept, into a new show called Invasion Iowa [blog]. This puppy dupes the whole town of Riverside, Iowa. (pop 928)
The townspeople think William Shatner (shit, now 73!) is coming to shoot a science fiction movie called 'Invasion Iowa.' What they don’t know is that the movie is fake, and they’re about to take a front row seat to a ridiculous parody of Hollywood.

Keep your eyes open for Julie Christie and crew scouting you to help on a new sci-fi movie.

Incidentally of minor interest, Iowa was compensated recently by the premium that Hamilton's Xenacom have set up their HQ there. Lucky buggers.

December 5, 2004

Worthy bathwater

The 'ever inventive' snazzycat put me onto this in an effort to get some neat pictures (by much better photographers than I) for a website I am putting together. I picked up some new lithiums, snapped some pix and tried my first upload to Picturestation. I submitted four pictures, only one of which got accepted. So here are the thumbs of my rejected submissions:

surely the nuggets get you salivating?

Incidentally, the accepted pic was the hot tap running water into our old bath. It was in the moment, had no thought pattern prior to the photo and I guess that's what they were looking for.

Over a cuppa

This is my appeal to the makers of Toffee Pops, to produce a coffee flavoured version. Some would say that this biscuit is the perfect compliment to a nice cuppa, and I reckon if you could get both from the one biscuit, then life would be ever closer to being perfect.
A proper cup of coffee in a proper coffee cup with a coffee toffee pop, please.

December 3, 2004

Dwayne Francks faces the music

Entertainer Dwayne Francks has appeared in Wellington District Court today on sex charges. He faces two charges of indecent assault and one charge of inducing a seven-year-old child to perform a sexual act. The comedian, who appeared on the game show, 'Face the Music', will next appear in Christchurch District Court in February. IRN 3/11/04

What a shocker... and I loved that show too!

Face The Music - boot up your media player
Here's one for Dwayne: [CLUE][ANSWER]

November 30, 2004

Can't catch a break!

I feel sorry for Asian drivers. Too often they are labelled slow unpredictable road users and get abuse yelled at them.
A few weeks back I saw what shocked me - an Asian Driving School. Today, I saw the result. A police car had pulled over a speeding asian.

November 26, 2004

Disaster Week

Ive been away from the Blogosphere this week - what a hell week.

This is the week that everyone needs you, everyone wants you and everyone cannot do without you. Advertisers target you, bill collectors hound you, friends vanish off the face of the earth and youre left with a face full of egg. This time of year sux. Heres a couple of tragic tales at my expense, for your entertainment.

Microsoft coughed up a doozie for me this week - just to put the pepper on.
I reject XP, and stay with 2000. Is that so bad?
I have all the OS patches installed yet the bug infested software "corrupts my user file" See error #318011. This particular system fault cannot be repaired and forces you to do the unthinkable - which is - when you are in a state of "Im really pissed off" mixed with "why the fuck does this keep happening?" and "im so tired, but I have deadlines", I make the decision to reinstall every last program on my PC, coz guess what? ..none of them work. They did 5 minutes ago, but now they don't. Whats worse is that I've lost all of my settings, my registered programs and every single email since March (the last time this happened!!!!!). I could have punched holes in a brickwall, and all I would've seen is a smiling and winking Bill Gates holding a meat platter and tropical fruit to congratulate himself, but no. That was Tuesday night.

Its now Friday and everything is finally back as it was. All programs reinstalled and re-registered, keyboard shortcuts back in action (I forget how my life was without them), although Im yet to reinstall all the skins and extensions to my Mozilla software yet - Gmail Alert, Weather Column, Blog Shortcut, RSS/XML feeder - a thought just now - did I need all that? Answer: No, not really but it saved me a LOT of time logging into websites looking for updates. The web comes to me and thats what its all about these days.

Anyway, Im in a much happier space now, until I tuned into 88.1FM this morning and heard static. Arrrrrggh! We had gale force winds last night, and I had worried about the wind, but the aerial had been through worse (actually in its second day) so its surely going to survive this bit of wind. I was wrong. So I put on my trackpants and busker gears, and up I went with the box of bits (solder, screw sets etc) - discarding my day of paperwork I had planned - to the transmitter site. The gut wretching feeling of "oh no" hit me when I got close enough to see the aerial was not visible, where it should have been. When I got up there, one of the tripod legs had bent right over. The fallen aerial was suspended on one of its support ropes as if the finger of god had flicked the whole thing from underneath. It would've taken a gust of 120-135kph to knock this baby off its hilt, although the almighty wasnt far away as I had to keep climbing up and down to avoid the sudden bursts of rain and howling wind today. No fun (unless you work at BCL).

I might continue my week of tragic tales sometime, but not right now. I must sleep (-p

November 23, 2004

Stern Sells Sirius

The Late Show with Dave Letterman had Howard Stern as a guest last night (actually last week in the US).

I had been eagerly awaiting this interview, as to understand how big of a move this is by Howard, and to help me understand the impact this move will create in America. Sure, the whole thing was an ad for Sirius Radio but I think if paying for it gets the bigger message across that radio listeners now have a choice - and a far superior one compared with the limits that existing terrestrial american radio serves up - its money well spent by Sirius. XM should thank Sirius too.

Howard made no bones about sticking his neck out and taking a huge risk with digital radio - especially when it seemed like he was begging toward the close of the interview, although his point was made and nailed. For 40 cents a day, the product is far better and you'll get over 100 channels of YOUR music, WITHOUT commercials and you can get Howard Stern uncensored and unrestricted by the FCC (radio restrictions tightly controlled by the US Government). Now if I could pay a body here in NZ 40 cents a day to be rid of commercials - where I do sign up? Y'know Howard, we share the same birthday....

Stern is certainly worth his $500 million contract and I believe every American radio announcer would have watched that interview with great interest, as Stern sent a direct message to them, saying that Digital Radio and the networks that provide the hundreds of different genres and radio formats on this digital platform offer so much more freedom and greater rewards for a radio broadcaster than they'd ever get with their existing contracts and current employers. Listeners would respond more positively and become excited about radio again, even passionate about it. Radio personalities would have a much better chance at creating better radio and grow so much more on a professional level if they thought seriously about joining up. Sirius has even been recognised by one of the music industrys biggest critics - Eminem. He even has his own channel "ShadE45", programmed by.. him.

It slightly saddens me that I've not heard much response from our own industry about this.

Radio has become increasingly dull in the USA over the last fifteen years, as corporate giants such as Clear Channel have aquired so much of the media and entertainment business across the USA, threading strings to every product they have in an effort to maximise the companies reach and ultimate control of the industry. That is a great idea as a business model, but unfortunately radio became but one element of an empire, and the glory of radio perished when they failed to support its lovechild and lost the plot along the way.

Innovators, frustrated listeners and now giant-size personalities are fed up with the prehistoric restrictions placed upon them. They want to reach their goal of creating, and continuing to create great radio for an audience who demand it. Who could ask for anything else? Yes, I would happily pay for it if I got what I asked for.

Howard used the example of cable television in the USA. CNN and HBO are classic examples of how such risk, innovation and ultimately - demand, evolves a medium and forces change and creates opportunity, rather than restrict it. The same goes for Sky TV here, and I believe it will be the real boom for radio here as well.

I watched this show with great interest for another reason also. Digital Radio is but a draft concept in New Zealand at the moment. Clear Channel own over 50% of the NZ Radio Market here and everyone in our industry is very aware of it (or should be!). Digital Radio has the potential to stop the continuing deregulation and bulk overseas ownership of our radio market, although the products are not all bad, this will catch its decline before it gets to the horrific state that the USA currently have.

The paper on Digital Radio in New Zealand is in suspended animation at the moment, because there are a lot of issues surrounding the cost of implementing into our system. We're merely scraping the surface of the beginnings of Digital Radio here at the bottom of the world, as Simon Morton touched on the topic also.

The other interesting result of Digital Radio which I feel needs discussion, is what will become of the old 'advertising campaign' - where do advertisers go once radio ends up commercial free?

Will Digital Radio create a new revolutionary way to get a clients product 'out there', or will the concept of having radio as an advertising medium completely vanish?

November 15, 2004

Retro Hit Radio - launch

Hey everyone

This is a massive spamzy out to you all, to reveal what all of my secret whispers, dark handshakes and ferret swapping was all about over the last 24 months.

I have launched my own radio station in South Auckland - it's smack bang in the face of the 350,000 that populate Manukau City and Papakura.

Retro Hit Radio has been running in - if you like - "Beta" stage since February this year and now with the help of a man dressed in a robot suit and plenty of crazy legs practice, I have launched the station off the top of Manukau Heights, which now radiates the gusto of many peoples in South Auckland.

If you find yourself south of Ellerslie at any stage, join the thousands of japanese car radio owners down here and tune to 88.1FM for a dose of Retro joy!

There's a tonne of awesome kiwi music on playlist (MiSex, Supergroove, Push Push, Strawpeople, Jenny Morris, Narcs etc etc) plus an abundance of international gems! Bad hair, yes - but some great music.

To a select few of you, of whom I have kept in the loop over this "secret" period - I thank you for your discretion as there could have been an uproar by my penguin folk if someone tried our idea. The brand is protected now, so I'm ever grateful for your courtesy. Thanks for all the support - you all know who you are ;)

If you want any further info about it, then drop me a line.

International Retro formats
Belgium, Russia, Spain.

Retro formats in the US
Wisconsin, Nebraska, Tennessee: [1][2], Washington, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Sacremento, Rochester, Michigan, Florida, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Indiana, Minnesota, "The Point" Networks, and theres probably a lot more. If you have some time, and interest - read up on how Amercian Retro (or 80's) formats have panned out.

November 14, 2004

November 12, 2004

Spit on the mic

Entertainment Weekly has named their greatest hip-hop album of all time.

The winner is the 1987 album "Paid In Full" by Eric B & Rakim. They admit it was a tall order and its list, which marks 25 years of mainstream rap is subjective having Eric B & Rakim at No. 1, but they stand by their decision and plead that "the album made hip-hop a true art form, doing for rap what Bob Dylan did for rock in the mid-'60s".

Second place went to "3 Feet High and Rising" by De La Soul, number three "Ready to Die" by Notorious B.I.G. and Public Enemy and Run DMC respectfully clock the the top five.

There was no sign of Vanilla Ice.

Howard Stern on Letterman

On Monday November 22 (NZ Time), Howard Stern will appear on the Late Show with David Letterman (he says Jay Leno is a tool...)

I'm really interested in this interview as Satellite Radio is an ongoing thought in the back of the NZ's radio industry's collective mind. We know that Stern will be earning $500 million dollars from Sirius - and god know how much more in advertising for his new digital network. The subject of Digital radio and how it will come about here, is dubious.

Howard will hopefully shed some light on the subject from the inside out, and 'enlighten' us.

November 8, 2004

No more politics!

Having watched F9/11 off a download last week, then watching Journeys With George last night on TV1 (a 2003 doco from a press core journo in the air with the Bush campaign back in 2000), I'm utterly buggered on how the Americans could make an informed decision at this years election?!?!?

I'm thankful for being a proud New Zealand citizen, and extremely fortunate to have never set foot on American soil. Probably never will either ;)

Official Page - Journeys With George

November 7, 2004

Cut n Paster - ep1

I now present the Thoughts from the studio "Cut n Paster"!

"Bill Ralston says he has no plans to change what goes out on TV1 at 7.00pm every weeknight. I think [Holmes'] ratings are stronger than we've had for several years, and that's one of the indicators. I think they're breaking stories a lot more than they did in the past. There's got to be acknowledgement within that that you're getting a quality product, and I still think we're getting a quality product out of Holmes. Obviously the viewers think so, too."
Bill Ralston - Listener Oct 2004

One month later, Holmes confirms he leaves for Prime TV in direct opposition to TVNZ.

"The move would be good for Holmes."
Bill Ralston on National Radio - NZ Herald, Nov 2004

Now I read over the weekend that Bill and Ian back at TVNZ are on the defensive. Allow the cut n paster to do its job:

"Paul's view that he's in the summer of his career, well, frankly, it's not TVNZ's view," Mr Fraser said. News chief Bill Ralston said he was in "100 per cent agreement" with his boss. "Ian has seen the same research I have and, it would seem, Prime hasn't."
NZ Herald - Nov 2004

Holmes will receive $1m per year over 3 years to produce something for Prime TV that goes head to head with TVNZ. Although I've never watched an episode of "Holmes" in my life, I think I may watch this Prime space.

November 5, 2004

Letterman gets interviewed

I have an odd soft spot for Dave Letterman. A likeable goof who loves to talk about things that mean nothing, do weird shit like blow up pumpkins or drop bowling balls from the top of a building into a bathtub just to see what happens.

To my amazement, Dave is a very private person and every now and then accidentally leaks a little of his personal life on his show - often by accident and probed by a guest (usually female and flirty!). Yes, Drew Barrymore is welcome anytime on the Late Show.

His current big news this year is that he and his partner (recently upgraded to "girlfriend") had a baby boy last year "Harry", and is close to his 1st birthday. Will he tell us how he will celebrate or just let the date pass by without a whisper?

Dave has always declined the romantic assumptions about his celebrity status, always downplaying his intelligence and nearly always staying modest - this from a man who had quintuple heart bypass surgery in early 2000 yet sold Official Dave Bypass T-Shirts!

The other big news is that for the very first time, Dave has agreed to be on the other side of the coin, and have the questions asked about him. It's a giant lollypop begging to be licked, and who gets the privelige? Regis Philbin is a dear old friend of Daves (he hosted The Late Show during the surgery, and recovery) although they both banter crazy slurs toward each other much like a couple of old fishing buddies.

Regis is a long standing figure amongst American TV audiences, and no doubt he is as classic as Dave. This interview will broadcast on the 8th (Tuesday morning NZ time), and you can bet I will be combing the internet for clips of the interview next week, and will no doubt be locked to Prime TV all week to hear his afterthoughts on the show.

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting. -David Letterman

Interesting Dave Facts:

• One of his most memorable moments occurred in the 90's when Johnny Carson made a surprise walk-on appearance. Letterman stood up and let Carson sit at his old desk for a moment, with the intent of delivering a joke. The audience went crazy and applauded for so long that he never got in a word.
• Dave is the executive producer for the show that follows his: "The Late Late Show" although Craig Kilborn (the host) has decided to leave. He also brought us "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Ed".
• Dave sometimes uses the name "Earl Hofert" as an alias.
• Dave was the voice of "Motley Crue Roadie #1" on "Beavis & Butthead Do America"

Late Night with David Letterman first aired on NBC, February 1, 1982. He later left bitterly and joined CBS in 1993 after Jay Leno was given the vacated Johnny Carson slot despite Letterman's public desire for the coveted position.
He reformatted the name to The Late Show with David Letterman and its been that way since - often rating #1.
Dave pulls in approx $120 million in advertising a year and takes $14 million for himself. We can see Dave and his team of bandits (Paul, Alan, Biff and Rupert) weeknights on Prime around 11pm-ish.

November 1, 2004


Wow, I'm charged up on this one!

Did you catch the Nightline story on this last night? You "can now" download commercial releases LEGALLY in New Zealand through a service called Digirama. Umm, so what the hell is then - a mirage?

You register at Digirama (which was simple), then browse and add your chosen songs to your shopping cart much like any other shopping website. At the time of publishing this post, the selection was VERY poor. The only major record companies to subscribe are FMR, Warners and Wildside.

If you have ever downloaded any audio from the net, or through the likes of P2P filesharing like Warez, KaZaA, Morpheus or old Napster - mp3 is a great standard to go with - and most say anything higher than 128kbps is sufficient for everyday listening.

The sad and very unfortunate news is that all songs downloaded from digiRAMA are 128kbps WMA (Windows Media Audio) format which offers "superior sound quality" and a small file size. Superior sound quality? It's shit.

I also have to mention that the WMA files are coded with DRM protection - a license that limits use to the computer you downloaded it to - rendering this entire project void - plus the restrictions a-plenty to where you can transfer it - your brand new iPod is not compatible sorry.

This is Microsoft at their ingenius best, by limiting playback to WMA audio in turn alienating the digital music world (as we all use mp3s fools) and being a complete pack of tossers in the process because - whoopdeshit, you must use Internet Explorer to pay for your music at the checkout. So let me get this straight, you want me to punch in my Visa details in a browser with all them security holes for all the world to see?? You gotta be kidding..

I say: Wait for iTunes - however long that will be. The music industry will bend over (they already are with this effort). Audio quality will be much better and prices probably similar but shit nana, once you've paid for your copy you can do what the hell you like with it (obviously within reason/law). Smear it over your body, lick it or whatever.

Random Blogmah

The funny thing about Blogs, is that everyone has one, yet a chunky portion of the world don't know what they are.
Top right of this (and many others) blog is a button that says "Next Blog".

I clicked it and found: - This guy is using blogger to clock his hours at work. - This guy loves to, haha, laugh, hehe. - Interesting comments of the US Election by a former US Marine/Army/Australian Police Sergeant. - The mind of a cheerleader (i think they have minds). - Need some poetry now? Star Mart can't help but this blog will. - Life in Norway for this adventure seeker! - A Kiwi in Japan! - Reid the "College Student" has a great blog - my cuppa tea! - A 12 year olds blog. Read it if you can!

And could this be true?

October 28, 2004

Clear Channel clean up AM Bandwidth

This is an interesting read. here


Im gonna write in my blog (Imoggaraimabloh!).
Arrrgh, I hate that dry throat spasm coff I have at the mom't. All blogked up, yet the body wants all the exits cleared. My head has probably eggpanded 5% - coz it feels like a heavy punkkin.
Take things slowly, force myself to like Lemsip and recover. If George is mellow enough today, I might tune in. Of course I have to figure out to how to pop my ears to I can hear properly. Uggghh.

October 26, 2004

The Tron - A New Bypass

As I fuelled up at Bombay, I was greeted by the happiest Mobil staff I had ever come across - as if these Pukekohe locals were close to a bonus as Labour Weekend made assigned quotas easier to meet? I lived in that mirage once.

Then charging down the straight, passing another fleeing Aucklander - I see what would probably become the bane of the owner by the end of Labour Weekend. It was a red van that had included the letters "JAFFA" on its plate, and south of the Bombays, that takes some guts.

I blurred their plate for their safety

Yes, the roads have been improved remarkably. From Mercer right through to Huntly is what could make Auckland's Southern Motorway 'central' in years to come. It is definitely Motorway and America large. There's room to pitch a tent on the grass either side, new overbridge intersections that seem to offer a destination (but upon 2.5km of "discovery" down one, I decided one u-turn was enough), and travel time was shaved too.

Bombay to Hamilton at the legal speed limit - 45 minutes. Push over the limit hard and you'd get it in 30. Huntly may be the bypass of the future, but it doesn't mean we will visit more often though, Hamilton.

I forgot how horrible radio is in Hamilton. I thought it could get better over time but within that 45 minutes of travel time, I heard a slamming campaign of Waikatos World too many times across all of the major stations, in between the centralised playlists. Wow, whats up with the weekend announcers? Seriously, there are some REALLY underprepped jocks on air there. Ouch.

Hamilton lake is so bleak, I wish it did rain.

I managed to get out to a friends place in Whatawhata. He's got a few acres there and has a place on a hill with the most wicked view behind his bright flower garden, pool and typical farmhouse pillared deck. The house is a do-up, two years into the renovation and its a real treat to see its progress after such time between visits. He's going to make a mint one day once he decides how to subdivide is empty lots. We toasted his success with a couple of beers and hot dogs.

I had Sunday brunch with a great radio bud (a true gentleman who I think should revive his online column) at Scotts on Victoria Street, only to return 30 minutes afterward for coffee with another dear friend.

The staff there spotted the Aucklander right away. I informed one of the charmers there that scientists had figured out how to naturally produce straight bananas. She duly told everyone else over the following 90 minutes, and returned later with facts from another table about how ladies cannot close their mouths when applying eyeliner. I did not know that!

Off to Paeroa that afternoon to see the new mansion on the hill where another friend has recently moved in. It's a great house and the lucky bastard has an awesome office setup there. Looking at your computer screen now, imagine glancing left to see your vision engulfed by Paeroa and the overwhelming Hauraki Plains. It's a surprisingly AWE-some feeling of displacement when surfing the net on broadband there.

Back across to Whatawhata on the Monday to catch up with another girlfriend who had just returned back from her Labour Weekend. Its weird how they use rainwater in Whatawhata, yet Environment Waikato charge for it? I thought a lot about that on my way back to the smoke until Huntly where I needed to refuel with 96 and consume some local grub.

In Huntly, I scanned the LPFM dial and found a little broadcaster in Huntly on 107.7 playing some unforgettable stuff that could really be forgettable. Signal was weak too. TLC will move in there soon, so Huntly will have something a little more polished - which they should assume the honour at the upcoming fireworks display there.

Roll on New Years, where I will avoid the Waikato and head north!

October 22, 2004

Ke? F See?

KFC are re-branding their chicken didn't ya know?

Is it a case of finally admitting they are still incorrect on the name of their product, is it a Saatchi refresher campaign, are numbers down?.

No. Their chickens now come from Inghams who have a history of feeding their chickens GE chicken feed. Greenpeace, bless em, have offered to help the rebranding. Jason Gallagher has great perspective when it comes to branding, if you want his help.

Chicken is a tricky thing to brand in NZ, even eggs. Most people think that the dozen eggs they buy are free range - when they've in fact been mislead by the label "Farm Fresh" or similar. A couple of weeks back, there was a TV feature on this (although where I saw it, slips my memory) and the "sad fact' as one free range farmer put it, is that we have the farmland and capacity to farm eggs naturally, but. we. just. don't.

It all comes down to $$$ and pushing through as much product as possible, disregarding the wellbeing of the chicken. These chooks never see the light of day. It's disgusting and always shocks any New Zealander when told the sad story.

It reminds me of a Havoc & Newsboy investigation a few years back, where they sneaked into a battery farm in the middle of the night. It made me sick to think that these animals are subjected to such poor conditions, just to have their necks broken at the end of the calendar month, sent to KFC for greasing and heating, and us to eat. Again, it's disgusting and always shocks any New Zealander when told the sad story.

Over the years I've picked up bits of rumour here and there about KFC. When they shortened their name to the KFC abbreviation a few years back, I heard it was because they couldn't technically call it Kentucky Fried "Chicken" as a complaint was held up on what consititutes a chicken, and that KFC were not selling chickens. Originally, Colonel Sanders did sell chickens door to door in Kentucky, but never were they fried in Kentucky for New Zealand consumption. So, instead of rebranding to Kentucky Fried Something That Looks Like Chicken, But Actually Isn't, they opted for KFC - a familiar acronym.

So, Kiwi for Chicken? I don't think so KFC. Dream on.

Pressure leads to change. A small victory comes to the people of Otahuhu and a handful of other areas that have a high Indian population. Why? The people demand Halal Chicken, because it's against their religion to eat the pulp that KFC serve out daily. They can only eat naturally farmed chickens. So KFC Otahuhu serves it on Sundays.

October 21, 2004

You're Hired!

Yes, Donald Trump is coming to NZ radio.

TRN (The Radio Network) have added to their list of American radio programming produced by Premiere Radio Networks. TRN currently broadcast the American Top 40 on ZM, Easy Listening i has the "privately owned" John Tesh Radio Programme (although he thinks Auckland is Illawarra). I noticed Radio Hauraki now has one, and it's probably ZB's turn to join the band by airing "Trumped" from November.

Hi Folks, you're all fired!
Now some of the women that you read about and see are truly beautiful. They have some really incredible women. I don’t want to name too many of them and maybe I shouldn’t name any because I know so many of them. But they do have some beauties. - from "Trumped!" - Oct 20, 2004.

October 20, 2004

The Tron

I'm off to Hamilton for Labour Weekend. Yes its the destination of choice, rather than accident. Gotta catch up with a lot of friends who I've promised to see but haven't over the last 6-12 months. Then over the plains to the Coromandel Peninsula, then back to Orkers.

For those who haven't been to The Tron in a few years, I'll take some pix and post them up here, just in case anyone asks you "have you been to Hamilton recently" and you can reply in the safety of this blog "why, yes. I noticed the.." and onward you'll lie.

While on the road, I'll also keep an eye out for cops behind bushes with those speedo guns (they might even have the speedo logo on the side of them). If I see some, I'll take some pix and put them up here when I get back. If that worries you, because you're on dialup - don't fret - I have another post in my drafts about photos and blogging from a dialup users perspective. I'll finish that up soon.

October 18, 2004

MS Office: God Edition

Can you imagine the calendar of the almighty this week so far?

17 Oct:
Watch third US Debate again then read the Lange speech
Contact Santa Claus - cancel William Hung bulk order.
Continue guilt trip on Paul Ellis, Sinead O'Connor, Tony Blair.
Hospitalise Marc Almond
Install Google Desktop program
Reward BOP NPC team
Organise scones and tea for Maurice Shadbolt
Ensure Alinghi win regatta over Team NZ - provide wind
Subscribe to Shady 45

18 Oct:
Flood Napier
Read up on John Tamihere
Keep an eye on NZ Fashion Week
Hotdogs for lunch
Listen to Dubbers report from Birmingham on bFM
Break all mirrors in Taj Mahal (USE THE MYSTERIOUS WAYS METHOD)
Give John Ross the Rodney seat
Keep Black Power & Mongrel Mob united at hikoi today
Check CanWest share price after todays press release
Set VCR for Flashies "Blondie Special" Wednesday night
Push Crude Oil prices up even further
Hendrix visits later for a chat about Motley Crue reunion

He Won't Go Away!

Oh dear.

October 14, 2004

Sam Chambers


Sam Chambers is a really great guy. The other night, he was let off the hook and told that the entire show revolved around him. "Living The Dream" was fake, you were surrounded by actors and you are famous. If you have no idea who this fella is, read up.

We didn't expect him to smash anyone's face in (although Mark did), instead he took it with a great sense of humour, much like his fellow contestants/actors predicted. Blown-away? yes.

Best thing about it, he's going back to the vineyard in the Hawkes Bay to carry on with life. No aspirations to be a TV star, or b-grade celeb that hosts travel shows. Life on the farm with his new ute. It's actually been 4 months for Sam, so he's probably managed to avoid most of the ensuing media frenzy and the fame.

The 'Cast' from Living The Dream
Smooth as a gravy sandwich

Big Dick

At home, we're not much better. First the botch up of the STV voting system, then a pathetic turnout of registered voters at the hilt.

At least Dick Hubbard is in charge of the big city and I already like the sound of a couple of his early stated promises: No Eastern Motorway, No V8 race, and he wants to improve the image of Auckland to the Jafa haters south of the Bombays.

I await the 20 questions from Metro Mag.

October 13, 2004

Biggest Ass

Two dipsticks racing to become the worlds most loathed man. It's gotta feel good. Welcome to the race of the US Presidential Election!

I've been catching glimpses from BBC World and (dare I say) "Fox & Friends" of this daily dose of truth twisting and media speculation much like that of swarming bees. At least ManCow has perspective.

I feel sorry for Ruth Smith who lives in Pennsylvania. How on earth can she make a decision to vote for the lesser evil?

This is why I hate politics and why I love donating money to Greenpeace.

Low Power Mavericks?

Talk about taking one for the team, god I feel awful.

Yes, we have a tainted past [1][2][3] and although those involved have moved on and would rather forget it, now every time something is reported about LPFM by the Herald (sadly the most read paper, and sadly we have to take it seriously), it gets tagged with "non-fee paying, radio mavericks" or something insulting that just kills any credibility we are trying to achieve.

That story is seriously 12 months of out date and is a serious lack of research by Alan Perrott. To keep it positive, I suppose we should reflect and understand the effort we've all put in since. Look to the future and who knows, October 2004 will be reported in October 2005.

Give me some angry hip hop Julia..

October 7, 2004

404 Away!

Most times, you can punch in a URL then type /404 and you will get that sites 404 error page. Here are a few spoofs I've found: (Please look carefully.)

Bush's Evidence of Weapons
An actual homepage
A 'personals column' for web code
Online a lot?

The only creative ACTUAL 404 I've found belonging to a NZ website is from Greenpeace, bless em.
If you find any others, please put your comment below!

Need a better 'auto-away' message for your email? See zirconiag's blog.

More 404

October 5, 2004

Metaphor creates kaos

Hoooooooooooo boy. Don't ask me how I got onto this, but if you have a few people around you at work - or wherever you are (keep to yourself if you are in internet cafe), do a snap-poll. ONE ANSWER, FIRST ANSWER Only.

"Which came first - the Chicken or The Egg?" - that is your question.
I'll give you a few minutes. Go.

OK - Back?

I know the bloody answer, and most would say the egg - coz chickens had to come from somewhere. No? They said chicken? You have the right to flick their ear. How many answered chicken, coz you've got some flicking to do.

Simply put, you have to think about the time before the chicken.
A non-chicken has sex with another non-chicken, or frog or whatever. Inside the reproductive system of the female, mixing of male and female DNA or mutations of the DNA, produces the zygote. This z word you havent heard since 5th form is the key - and if you're religiously inclined, we will call it the "shake of god".

When the zygote mutates (dependant on its hosts DNA) a new species is formed. This mutation produces a new cell. Upon gods timetable, a gong is sounded, the cell splits into two and bada bing, bada boom you have Chicken.

Insummary, the zygote cell is the only place where DNA mutations could produce a new animal, and the zygote cell is housed in the chicken's egg. So, the egg must have come first.

I'm here all week.

October 4, 2004

Big Day Out 2005

I'm glad I skipped last years Big Day Out. So glad I saved my HARD EARNED moola for a gig that really counts.

Oh my furry little buffalo wings, the Big Day Out 2005 will be my vice.

Look out children - it's the BEASTIE BOYS!
SYSTEM OF A DOWN will perform for all - even Mr Whippy vendors.
The CHEMICAL BROTHERS have an icecream of their own, whereas THE MUSIC is the band that'll definitely help make memories. I hope they're playing around 5-7ish.
Theres also THE STREETS, THE DONNAS and the FREESTYLERS and I sincerely hope I can drink a bottle of orange under the sun on the grass with POWDERFINGER or the JOHN BUTLER TRIO as my soundtrack.
I suspect GRINSPOON will be the early evening medication, and CONCORD DAWN for those on medication.

Every single one of these acts will perform, and I actually know (and like) every single one of them. Impressive.

I like the fact that the NZ only performances include the return of Shihad, Steriogram and the D4 (whom I last saw @ BDO 2003 - love them pink shirts). Remaining are The Bleeders, Trinity Roots and the Misfits Of Science, all I've yet to see live.

Big Day Out 2005, Friday January 21 @ Ericsson Stadium - Gates Open 11am

October 2, 2004

Aly Cook

Thats some fine music my friends. If you have access to AC Hit Disc 8, then give her single "I Wonder" a listen (or watch it).

At time of publishing, theres been little interest by the radio networks to add it. The song could easy go onto the Classic Hits and More FM networks, as well as all the localworks stations, plus many of the independents such as IXX and Times FM.

Aly's done everything right too. She recorded her song with Alan Janssen and Rick Huntington aboard the starship enterprise that is Uptown Studios, she's even got a video for it. When she auditioned for Warners to get a deal, she got leapfrogged by Anika Moa. It's quite clear she is extremely talented. She was part of the innovative group DNE and got a single out there too "Be There" - cheekily got it onto MTV Europe too.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Aly was the voice who sang the "Auckland's Hottest Music" Jingles for Mai FM all those years ago - she even did the "Owwwww" part at the end.

Recently she was approached by BBC Radio and subsequently featured on Larry London's Voice Of America show - which broadcasts over the globe! That's some excellent exposure - I don't think she'll forget that anytime soon. Nationally, Liz Barry played the single on the Homergrown show at the end of September. On the net, Aly has constantly hit #1 at the indie "" and her interview with freeworldradio is insightful.

She has also been offered a gig at Mainland TV to host a show based out of Nelson (where she lives). The More FM swamped XLR8 website has nominated her for artist of the year next to the likes of Hayley Westenra, Goldenhorse and Brooke Fraser for the 2004 Entertainment Awards. All this without a major label. It points to a big future doesn't it?

Official Website

September 29, 2004

Toutatis Visits

"Look Mummy, is that all damn nation and certain death passing us by?"
"Yes Billy."

So, September 29th has arrived. The day that could have ended humanity as we know it.

Toutatis is in the (clear) sky tonight, and if (like me) you're heading to the Auckland Observatory tonight to catch a glimpse through the large Zeiss telescope, you can utter the mighty words of Billy above. Of course, say it in your head otherwise people might think youre crazy - although this closeness of certain death does medicate your inner monologue to "hyper", but trust me - keep it to yourself. We wouldn't want to create mass hysteria.

Which is another blindingly weird oddity. I've been on it for 6 months, posted an in-depth guts-n-all story a few months back, managed to scare the cat (which is now dead) and my peers, gain international interest (juding by the amount of hits its had) yet no interest here - where it will be best SEEN.

A few days back, Auckland Obervatory sent out a press release about this "close call", yet they've had no bites.

Editor: "Hey Ray - you wanna cover this story about a massive asteriod that could have wiped out life on the planet?
Ray: "I gotta take a whiz"

I guess, all we can do is.. celebrate. Dig out Earth Wind and Fire's "September" and crank it. It's all too appropriate.

September 28, 2004

Spam, Spim and Spit!

Spam: Unsolicited Emails
Spim: Unsolicited Instant Messages

Joy. Now there's "Spit". Audio spam.

Got VoIP? You could well be stuffed.

Well, that's probably not true. There have been no documented cases of VoIP spam/spit yet, but taking a look at some figures here (leans over to some research), In 2003, there were only about 131,000 residential VoIP subscribers in the US, but by 2008 the level is projected to reach 17.5 million. Spam became widespread because there was a big enough target audience, and these numbers are untouched CREAM for spammers.

I don't know anyone in NZ who uses VoIP, but lets hope Qovia's patent is an international one.

Small is big

First we got M&M Minis, then Baby Burger Rings. It seems that our food of the future is in bite sized chunks. Astronauts already complain of Portion Distortion, and now we may have to buckle as well.

Since 1982, the standard size of a hamburger has increased 112 percent. Bagels are 95 percent bigger than they were two decades ago and servings of pasta have gone up 480 percent, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Cookies, once bite-sized, now resemble a discus or Frisbee.

I ate a Mega Perky Nana a few hours back. I've always loved them. In Britian, King-sized Mars and Snickers bars will be cut down in size next year. Some weigh as much as 100 grams and contain 387 calories. They instead, will be cut into "two shareable portions" for you and your friendly bum on the street.

September 27, 2004

Creative Juices

I recall writing a spot for an Adult shop 5 or so years back. I convinced the manager to run with a series of ads over his campaign.

They were based around a young impressionable yet clueless delivery boy who was offloading (so to speak) the stock from his truck to the back entrance of the adult shop (I hope you're not reading this metaphorically!!!).

A typical script might go something like:

"Hey again!, it's Ben the delivery guy. I'm loading in some new things at (Adult Store) today.

(sfx of lifting boxes/straining).

I can never work out what's in these boxes, but this one says Lemon Zest Lube. I might take a peek inside and see what it is. (he always does this with every ad in the series)

(sfx: unpacking)

Okay. It's in a white and yellow tube, and squirts out like shampoo, really. (pause) OHHH gawd, it tastes like Lemon too! I'll just put that back. Got some in my eye.. ugghhh.

VO: (Adult Shop, blah blah specials, new stock etc.)

The key for the series was to have something dumb happen to the guy - to cause a listener reaction of "surely he knows what thats for" in an effort to put these products into the realm of common knowledge = new customers through door.

The client had a massive response. I'm not sure if he was kidding at a post campaign meeting when he mentioned a customer asked about the delivery guy's availability!

Magic. Hopefully the regulars at the Media Creative Writers forum will get a giggle.

September 26, 2004

Before our very eyes

I have just realised I was cringing my face at a C4 Promo for "Dirty Sanchez". I'm probably right in the right age and sex target for this type of show, but instead I was repulsed. These idiots are into self mutilation and torture!

This is desensitisation as we know it - and for what? I dont rate it.

Hate Spiders? If you expose yourself to them enough, you may begin to get used to them - possibly even like them. If this theory works, can the same be said for our next generation of people who are constantly exposed to acts of terrorism, war or even a TV promo about watching people hurt themselves?

Does it become less of a problem to us?

September 22, 2004

You Like Them Apples Punk?

Shee-it! I just read in the Herald (the paper version - yes there's a version, ha!) about that Fraggle Rock 'Trashheap' chunk of land up north, that once spat unpleasantries on the landscape, that fuelled critics and non-believers into arrogant hibernation and gave an American Ba-zillionaire the quacky idea to put a golf course on it.

It was brush for gods sake. Unmanageable, unpleasant brush. Just like Basil.

Here we are yen years later and the nervous yank (still ba-zillionaire tho') opens a lush estate for peg nosed upper crusts to play golf, spit wine and drive around in electronic buggies saying 'what what' much like the corporate execs on Bro Town last night (shit it was funny). They could have got the Saatchi guys to give it a better name than "Karikari Estate Vineyard and Winery and Carrington Farms".

How will Wises Maps manage that?

September 20, 2004

We Were Wrong

That takes balls. Admitting that all the fuss over a post 9/11 band name change decision was a mistake.

The forums have been going nuts since the news the other day, and probably will for some time. I for one dont care what name they take - the fact is that since the demise of The Exponents, Shihad/Pacifier are the best consistent live unit I have ever come across. Its just like the Hulk Hogan/Hollywood Hogan thing. Good vs Bad. It's weird how we just like the whole thing.

They got airplay in the US as Pacifier, and US Rock Radio will probably look past the name change because of their moderate success there. Their American fans understood the initial change, and now two years later I suspect it will prove to be a positive spinoff for Shihad. They're in for a treat actually.

They will not lose anything out of this. If anything, they will only gain support. The people that bagged them for changing the name to Pacifier and ran away crying, should mostly come back after the band admitted they were wrong. Then again, if fans ran away because they changed their name, they were not really fans in the first place.

To boldly go

I just finished a nice glass of bubbly. In celebration.

In 1990 on top of One Tree Hill, I swore an oath to myself that I would impact the Auckland airwaves at some point in my life. I had no idea how or when I could do it, or if it was attainable. Instead of becoming a school teacher like I intended back then, I locked myself into the dream and went for it.

Over the years I have impacted the Auckland airwaves in more subtle ways. I made a lot of the music beds and remixes that are used on More FM. I make station imaging for Times FM in Orewa, and Niu FM Nationwide. My production hand is heard on George FM & UpFM also. It's still not 'on the air' though. I've conquered Hamilton three times over, Tauranga and the Coromandel (ick) twice but no strike in Auckland.

Now may be the time. I've started my own station with the help of two dear radio buddies of mine. We've probably got more than 60 years radio experience between us and a shitload of music research. We've been working on our format for the last 2 years, sourcing music, writing content, planning strategies, budgeting, designing branding, technical, even doing a dummy run - numbers and all!. We've taken it slow and steady and waited for the right time to turn on the low powered transmitter.

I joined a team of Low Powered broadcasters and helped form a society, assisted countless radio startups in my time and a former co-host has asked me to be his best man next year. Joy! I'm in a good space and I've had a lot of awesome feedback about my station by two radio bigwigs (yes, actual bigwigs!), colleagues, peers, friends and family - many of whom have been waiting with baited breath after my grand presentation last April.

So here it is. My oath and promise to the dream comes alive, and, err, my glass is empty. Be right back..........


September 15, 2004

Maori Language Week Awards

It's quite interesting how a Pacific Island radio station wins an award in a category that really should have been won by an iwi station.

The Maori Language Week Awards were held last night in Wellington, and among two other iwi finalists (Mai FM and Te Hiku FM) in the Radio Category, Niu FM won it.

The press release makes light of TVNZ scooping a chunk of awards, yet this enlightening and odd news of the pioneering PI radio network made my morning.
He ra tino ataahua tenei - Its a great day!

September 14, 2004

U.G.L.Y.. you aint got no alibi

Theres a bus-stop campaign out there at the moment asking us to visit the Ugly Kids Website.

So I went there and punched in my vote. Now I have to wait until Monday to see what actually happens. Stay tuned I guess...

It was a gimmick by The Edge radio station. They're all ugly really. It makes me think of Bob Reid (if you know who he was).

Mozilla Magic

If you're a regular visitor of the web and its fruit, you may have seen the name 'Mozilla' at some point. I'm about to go crazy with recommendation!

If you've never used anything but Microsoft software on your computer, I seriously recommend you at least consider starting with your web browser. It's a safe bet, it will not compromise your computer system and can happily co-exist alongside your current browser.

Now, in an effort to keep this post simple and non-geeky for newbies, hover your mouse over some tricky words, and an explanation will appear. Do it on the word 'explanation'. Yay!

~preface for newbies~
More than likely, you are looking at my blog with a web browser called Internet Explorer. For the rest of this post I will nickname it 'I.E'. The reason for this, is that the Windows operating system you are using has I.E already built-in (or bundled). Over the last few years, hackers have found ways of exploiting this browser to the point that it is very much unsafe and a security risk for any computer.

Microsoft continually release patches and updates to fix these holes, but this makes it an annoying product rather than being a helpful one. Computer users have had real horror stories because of these security flaws - from bankruptcy, fraud, misguided imprisonment - or the most immediate problem: Viruses. Then there's the advertising pop-ups and bugs that install themselves on your system and track your every move, secretly sending data back to spam companies who in turn bombard your email account. It's crazy, and although it started with e-mail, the most common way to get a virus is through a web browser.

Coz I've freaked you out now, I will introduce Mozilla. It's not the answer to all of these problems but will certainly help - as it's all 'under the hood'. Oh, and it's pioneered by a Kiwi. reason enough?

~Quick History~
Mozilla is a new browser that has been bankrolled by Netscape.
Netscape has their own browser called Navigator and it was the worlds most used browser in the early days of the Internet (even I used it!), until Microsoft supplied it's operating system with a built-in (bundled) web browser called Explorer with the release of Windows 95. The rest is history.. Microsoft won the world over and Netscape couldn't match them.

Netscape has now partnered with the worlds most innovative programmers and created an organisation called, which in short, constructs software from scratch, in an open enviroment - unlike Microsoft whom like to keep their code behind closed doors. Because products are out there in the open, problems are discovered far more efficiently. This is good, especially when it comes to the most notorious pieces of software that impact the Internet environment the most: Email and Browsing.

Mozilla has developed a web browser called Firefox, an Email program called Thunderbird, and are currently developing a Calendar program called Sunbird.

Not only do the names sound wicked, but they are VERY easy to install, use and they look great. They are very refreshing. Just look at the logos throughout this post. At the time of publishing, Firefox was at version 0.9.3, Thunderbird at 0.7.3, Mozilla Browser at 1.7.2 and Sunbird at 0.2a (still a baby).

I mentioned a couple of paragraphs back that this software has it all 'under the hood'. Pop Ups were the first thing eliminated (or terminated as Arnie says). Next, came the option of nuking advertisements - done. Malicious scripts, and net-nasties were all severely kneecapped when Mozilla unleashed its browser - because the world had become accustomed to Microsoft programming and software. I suspect this is why the Mozilla logo is that of a T-Rex... it's a lean, mean beastly piece of work! It's awesome.

I recommend you install Mozilla Firefox and start surfing the net in actual peace. No popups for lotteries, credit cards, or penis enlargement. Just a browser doing what you asked it to do, and nothing more - if thats what you want. Mozilla Firefox can be filled to the brim with a whole lof of cool extra features upon your intention to enhance your online experience (I use a few), although most of these things - such as toolbars, news tickers and god-knows-what - just add clutter and we could really do without them.

Take the punt and install Firefox. You can download it direct from their website (no middle-men websites here) by clicking here - and it's free.

~Try It Out~
First thing I want you to try when it's installed (and it has kindly imported your I.E Bookmarks!), is load this blog page into Firefox. Select this address: ..copy then paste it into the address bar in Firefox. Firefox will then tell me you are using it to view my page.. Groovy huh?
Here is where Firefox will change the way you browse the internet - for the better. Firefox has made whats called 'tabbed browsing' a phenomenon. Heres how:

Hold down the Control button on your keyboard, press T. This will open a new blank tab. You will see two new buttons appear just under the address bar, These are called tabs and you can switch from one page to another as quick as you can click. So what? - well, do it again - do it six more times.. Control+T. You can view as many pages as you like WITHIN the one browser. Its a big deal because it allows you to bounce between completely different websites without tying up and slowing down your computer. When was the last time you opened 15 windows at a time? ..can you imagine the mess? Firefox keeps it all nice and tidy. OK, close down all of those new tabs - except one. So you should have my blog open, and a blank tab. Here's the trick I've been dying to teach you, just keep tabbing back and forward from this blog to follow these instructions:

Click on the empty tab, and at the top right of the browser you'll see another empty box. This is the Google search engine at your fingertips! Punch in something, anything and hit enter on your keyboard. The search results display in this new tab. See a result that interests you? Even if you don't, try this: Instead of clicking on a link to view it, right-click it and select from the menu 'Open In New Tab'. That page you selected now opens in a 3rd tab! So, I can now assume you have 3 tabs open. this blog, Google search results, and a page you opened as a result of the search.

Hey, while that page is loading, click back to the google search results and choose another website link, say halfway down. Open that in a new tab too. I hope you now see how browsing the web this way makes it so much easier to manage everything, and ultimately save you buckets of time.
Oh, you might not have noticed any pop ups. Firefox nuked them when they tried to load. Cool huh!

The safer, faster, better web browser with exciting new features such as tabbed browsing and integrated search. Stop pop-ups, spyware, viruses and other nuisances. Beware of spyware. If you can, use the Firefox browser. - USA Today (Sept 8, 2004)

Try Firefox for a week or so. If you still feel uneasy, then use I.E and at least share some of the workload with Firefox. You will notice the better performer when you realise that IE may have two, three, five, maybe ten pop ups at the end of your session, whereas Firefox will have none. Just itself. To me, that earns BIG brownie points and was what hooked me in from day one.

I've been using Firefox since March 2004 and it's not failed me yet. As a result I have more faith in products that are not built by Microsoft and ever since, I've been migrating away from Microsoft. I use Firefox for browsing, Thunderbird for email, and I just installed Sunbird for my calendar. I now do not use anything Microsoft except for the Operating System itself and I might even ditch that soon one day although ironically, I've had no problems since I erased the other Microsoft products. Coincidence?

A preview version of the first release is available for download, although I'd suggest you wait for the official release. In other news, Firefox is making "waves" in the news. About bloody time.

September 13, 2004

Radio Now

from radio ink
Start-up company AudioFeast is bringing radio to portable MP3 players, betting that digital audio fans will want a diet beyond their own music collections..

I'd be hesitant to call it 'radio' although its an avenue for radio in NZ to possibly expand its service. We do not have digital radio in NZ, yet this could be a fast track for us to catch up and join in on the digital aspect of radio.

I know its not a new idea coz we've been able to tape the radio for years, without any legal problems (although they still say its illegal). Only our time limit was limited by the length of the cassette. This way we can do it to the extent of the harddrive digitally and legally - as Radio can charge for the service, as they pay Apra anyway.

Weird how we can have iPods yet Apple's service of downloading to them is not available here.

Murray Deaker on demand anyone?

September 10, 2004

Our appointment

Whats up with that blasted Green Room effect?

Bump into someone you've not seen in a while, and in haste say "lets catch up for a coffee".

1) It never happens and you find out 35 years later he/she own their own island..
2) Somehow they know Christina Ricci
3) The 'catch up' happens, and..

..a phonecall is made.
X:Oh mate, it's been too long really. How about we catch up later in the week?
Y:Yeah, how's Thursday for you?
X:Great, 2 O'Clock at (cafe/bar)?
Y:Cool, see ya then.. etc etc

A day later, someone tries to book THAT particular time you've pencilled with your long lost buddy. To steer the strange one legged person away you pretend you have an important business meeting at that time and cannot break it (if you are a true friend). "I've got a 2 O'Clock then, sorry"

I believe strongly in a personal matra of mine. Never Be Predictable. Instead I will make it a habit of going home using a new route, pick up a different brand of bread at the supermarket, and book really odd times for meetings.

I have a "4:17" sorry..
I have an "11:11" sorry..
I have a "2:39" sorry..

You should see some reactions I get. They think I'm joking.

FYI: I've been doing this with my posts here since July. Take a look at the log entry times ;)

So Damn Cheesy

Well, I WAS going to write something about the NZ Idol runner up Michael Murphy, and the kafuffle over his first single. Alas, Robyn exposed the truth, Paul Ellis got headlines, and Damian drove in the nail.

I never liked Michael Murphy. Too cheesy for my liking, although perfect for an 8 year old. I'm still happy that Ben Lummis got the votes, even if he couldn't stay in key for 'Treat Her Like A Lady'.

It seems interesting that all of the runner-ups in this "Competition" end up releasing albums, in turn discounting the point of having an overall winner. in spite of that, the only crowd favourite I've yet to hear a single from is the lovely Cosima Devito. Fear not, she is on her way with her album too - only hers is full of ORIGINAL material penned by Diane Warren. Already, she has released a cover of Cold Chisel's "When the War Is Over" which reached the top of the Ozzie charts a few weeks back.

September 9, 2004

Nightjocks diet

Back in the old days before automation, I would find Hotel California, American Pie, Stairway To Heaven* or any song that was longer than 5:20 and cue the bugger up when it came time for a food run. I'd prepare my cash, prepare the studio door, put the phones on hold (including the hotline) and as soon as I hit play, the old song was out, the next CD was in and I was off.
The petrol station where i'd get the tucka was across the road so there was no drama in getting the food, it was the food I ended up with which was dramatic.

my DJ Food was:
Pies, Chocolate, Chips, Coke or Energy Drink. It was a sad state of affairs really. All that effort I put into a great nightshow was morally destroyed by eating this unromantic 'ick'. My shift would end at 12, I'm home 15 minutes later yet I'd never get to sleep before 1:30am. The sugar kept pumping through me.

Here I am again facing the same issue. I am, however 8 years older and know what it feels like to have a tooth pulled out. I look back at that young jock I once was and sit here shaking my head and grinning, knowing I was not the only one who ate like that. This bad food habit amongst DJ's still happens today, yet not pointed out. It's like 'radio station coffee', or lack of pens - this is just part of the deal and because of your circumstances being night and all, there are a limited number of places one could go, and really it's tuff shit nightowl.

So now, I thank the accountants for bringing us automation. You have improved my health, my fitness and my attitude toward a bright and salad filled future. Tonight I am not on-the-air as a night jock, rather in production creating a new batch of Station Imaging. I have a ham roll that I picked up from a bakery at 4:30 this afternoon, along with a bottle of Ribena. I think I'll eat the roll now. It's nearly 1am!

September 7, 2004

Hiccout the Hiccups

Instead of adding to my mental list of remedies for this annoying human flaw, I'll just slap em here.

There are plenty of traditional remedies for the hiccups, so I'll start at the beginning. If you have any futher suggestions then add your comment at the end of this post.

  • HOLD your breath for 10 seconds.

  • DRINK an entire glass of water without breathing.

  • SWALLOW a teaspoon of dry, white sugar.

  • BREATHE into a paper bag for 2-minutes, re-breathing the air inside the bag.

  • USING your thumb, apply gentle pressure to the space between your teeth and upper lip. Using the index finger of the same hand, apply pressure just below the right nostril on the outside of the lip.

  • PLACE one finger in each ear and count to twenty.

  • CLOSE your eyes and apply slow, gentle pressure to the outside of the eyelids, over the eyeballs.

  • DRINK one cup of juice rapidly.

  • EAT crushed ice.

  • EAT bread slowly.

  • DRINK a glass of milk from the other side of the glass (you have to bend forward to do it).

  • EAT a spoonful of honey, or maple syrup.

  • STOP drinking alcohol, you're probably drunk.

September 5, 2004

Offline Shopping

Did a bit of offline shopping with my brother today. Ya just can't beat the real-world charm of a supermarket:

One of these is NOT photoshopped...